U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in healthcare rankings, released the 2018 Best Medicare Plans. The new ratings are a resource for Medicare beneficiaries and their families searching for the best coverage options during the annual open-enrollment period, which began October 15 and runs through December 7, 2017.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Star Ratings for the 2018 Medicare health and drug plans. With the release of the Star Ratings, people with Medicare will have improved access to high-quality health choices for their Medicare coverage in 2018. This news comes on the heels of the recent release of the benefit and premium information for Medicare health and drug plans which shows that there will be more health coverage choices and decreased premiums in 2018.
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) released new research on exchange reinsurance stabilization efforts leading to higher enrollment in exchanges. Funding a $15 billion reinsurance stabilization package, in combination with a delay of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) health insurance tax (HIT) through the end of 2018 and guaranteeing funding of cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), could reduce average yearly premiums by $1,363 (a 17% reduction). Uncertainty in the individual market, rising premiums, and declining issuer participation have created the need for federal and state policy makers to address these issues to stabilize the marketplace.
The governors John Kasich of Ohio, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Bill Walker of Alaska, Terence R. McAuliffe of Virginia, John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, and Steve Bullock of Montana sent a letter to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate asking them to take immediate steps to restore insurance markets stabilization structures. The letter was sent ahead of the testimony governors are expected to offer to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee on September 7.
Sweeping repeal and replace legislation may be slowed, but does not mean significant healthcare changes are not coming off the legislative wish list. The debate on funding aspects of the healthcare law will likely continue through the 2018 election. The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) comes up for discussion and two organizations presented their takes on HIT's impact on Medicare programs and payers.
In July of 2017, CMS and Maryland continued their partnership and announced the Care Redesign Program (CRP). The CRP is a new voluntary program within the Maryland All-Payer Model that advances efforts to redesign and better coordinate care in Maryland. The CRP provides hospitals participating in the Maryland All-Payer Model the opportunity to partner with and provide incentives and resources to certain providers and suppliers in exchange for their performance of activities and processes that aim to improve quality of care and reduce the growth in total cost of care for Maryland Medicare beneficiaries.
The federal deficit would grow by $194 billion over 10 years if the Trump administration stops reimbursing private insurers for lowering out-of-pocket expenses for individuals under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a report issued today by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Despite rapid-fire growth that has resulted in upwards of 33% of all Medicare beneficiaries now being enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, few health plans are proactively marketing their offerings to consumers and all but a select few plans are falling short when it comes to successfully addressing provider integration and access to care for their members. Those are the key findings of the J.D. Power 2017 Medicare Advantage Study.
Possible opportunities for growth, for payers and providers connected with the Medicaid systems in eligible states, exist in the continually low enrollments in Medicaid Savings Programs. The Medicaid under-utilization group demographics emerged through a recently released report from Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).
The shift to accountable care and value based payment models is coming. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are just one of the value-based models making waves throughout the healthcare industry. Based on current growth trends it is predicted by 2020 approximately 70 million people will be covered by ACOs. Focusing on shared accountability and quality improvement, ACOs have become champions of the healthcare triple aim. Not to mention a major player in CMS’ plan to tie a large percentage of payments to value by 2017. As ACOs soar in popularity now is the time to weigh your options. Are you are thinking or making the transition to an ACO? What are the benefits