Innovations in Medicaid Managed Care Organizations

The first nationwide benchmark study measuring the health care industry’s progress in combating the opioid crisis was released. This important baseline analysis shows the positive steps clinicians and insurance plans have taken together – and identifies specific actions that can be taken to reduce addiction and abuse.

Medicaid Expansion Linked To Better Clinical Care

ACA Medicaid expansion, was associated with an increased probability of patients presenting with less complicated surgical disease and a greater likelihood of patients receiving optimal surgical management after admission and linked to better access to surgery and higher quality surgical care, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

2018 Health Plan Star Ratings Released By CMS

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.

Exchange Reinsurance Stabilization: 17% Premium Reductions

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.

Insurance Markets Stabilization: Bipartisan Proposal From Governors

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.

Health Insurance Tax (HIT) Impact on Medicare Plans: 2 Views

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. 

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