A project of the George Washington University's Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Archive: September 2010

Richard Gilfillan to head Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Posted on September 30, 2010

According to media reports, Richard Gifillan has been chosen to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, an office created by the health reform law. Gilfillan is the former head of the Geisinger Health Plan.

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IRS issues guidance on reform law’s adoption credit

Posted on September 30, 2010

The IRS has issued a guidance on the increased adoption tax credit that was included in the health reform law.

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Avalere study finds reform leads to more Part D gap coverage

Posted on September 30, 2010

According to a new study released by Avalere, one-third of Medicare Part D drug plans will provide gap coverage in 2011, up from 20 percent in 2010. The study also found there will be an eight percent increase in plans available without premiums to low-income beneficiaries.

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NAIC circulates model state health exchange legislation

Posted on September 30, 2010

A subgroup of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has released a draft of model state legislation for establishing the state health insurance exchanges mandated by the health reform law. It is accepting comment through October 6 before moving it forward through NAIC’s internal approval process.

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HHS grants $320 million to expand primary care workforce

Posted on September 28, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced $320 million in grants made possible by the health reform law to expand the health care workforce. $253 million, allocated from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, will be used to fund Workforce Grants to expand the primary care workforce. An additional $67 million will be [...]

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HHS awards nearly $100 million from Prevention and Public Health Fund

Posted on September 27, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded nearly $100 million in grants from the health reform law’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, which will support state and community efforts to fight obesity, increase HIV testing, promote tobacco quit lines, expand mental health and substance abuse programs, and track, monitor and respond to disease outbreaks.

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HHS announces $68 million in grants to help navigate health and long-term care options

Posted on September 27, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced $68 million in grants to assist seniors, people with disabilities, and their families and caregivers navigate health and long-term care options. Using funding made available by the health reform law, these grants will go to states, territories, tribal and community-based organizations. They will be jointly administered [...]

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HHS allocates $30 million from Prevention and Public Health Fund to support the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

Posted on September 27, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it will allocate $30 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the health reform law to HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy. This includes $21.6 million in grants to state and local health departments.

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Editor’s Comment: ERISA Now and Forever

Posted on September 27, 2010

Enacted to secure the nation’s private pension system, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has become a pillar of U.S. health policy because of the legal framework it establishes for employer-sponsored group health benefit plans. Even as it creates crucial protections for workers and their families, ERISA simultaneously diminishes the power of states to regulate employee health benefits. Furthermore, the law curtails the legal rights of patients who experience death or injury as a result of the negligence or misconduct of health benefit plan administrators. The Affordable Care Act preserves the ERISA framework, expanding the federal standards applicable to employee health benefit plans while preserving the law’s shielding effects against state regulation and health plan liability. A major unanswered question under the Act remains how the ERISA shield will affect the rights of patients whose employers purchase coverage through state Exchanges.

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Health Reform and ERISA

Posted on September 27, 2010

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or the Act) changes ERISA in important ways that increase participant and beneficiary rights, while at the same time leaving its basic requirements and framework untouched.

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