Posted on December 9, 2013
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently published a report about Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. Since FY1993, DSH payments have been provided to hospitals that serve a high proportion of both uninsured and underinsured patients. Care provided to these patients is often uncompensated or compensated at low rates, rendering DSH payments necessary to help mitigate some of the financial strain associated with treating this patient population. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to help reduce the uninsured population, and as a result, a provision to reduce DSH payments was included in the law. The 2012 Supreme Court ruling, which made Medicaid expansion optional for states, did not change the DSH payment reduction provision. The final rule outlining the DSH reduction methodology does not take into account a state’s decision on Medicaid expansion, so some states may experience a reduction in DSH payments without the intended accompanied increase in insured individuals. The new CRS report provides an overview of DSH payments, including allocation methodology, current trends in DSH spending, and implications on states after full implementation of the ACA.
Posted on December 6, 2013
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a report outlining 103 potential options to reduce federal spending or increase tax revenue. The report, Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023, contains 16 health-related provisions, several of which concern the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that may aid in reducing the deficit. These options include:
Posted on November 22, 2013
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), in conjunction with Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reform, recently published their Navigator Review Guide. Navigators are trained to help individuals understand their coverage options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and help them select plans most appropriate for their needs. The Navigator Resource Guide is divided into three sections:
- Enrollment issues for individuals without coverage options from an employer;
- Enrollment issues for individuals with coverage options from an employer, but who may want to learn more about additional options under the ACA; and
- Enrollment issues for small employers.
The 102 page document is designed to provide additional information and supplement the training for navigators working with private insurance under the ACA.
Posted on November 5, 2013
An analysis performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans eligible to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance marketplaces, which equates to 17 million individuals, will qualify for insurance subsidies. To receive a subsidy through the ACA, individuals must earn between 100-400% of the federal poverty line. Most of the individuals qualifying for subsidies reside in Texas, California, and Florida. The analysis was based on population and economic data collected by the Census Bureau for 2012 and 3013, stated that.
Posted on November 4, 2013
A new survey conducted by The Commonwealth Fund indicated that 17% of individuals possibly eligible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) visited the law’s online marketplace. The survey, performed October 9th-27th via the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, also found that 20% of those that visited the marketplaces were between ages 19-29, and 20% of those that visited actually enrolled in a plan. The survey additionally reported that 60% of those in the sample group were aware of the purpose of marketplaces and 37% of those that did not enroll in coverage cited healthcare.gov‘s technical malfunctions as the reason for not enrolling.
Posted on October 22, 2013
After the measure to expand Medicaid failed in the Legislature this summer, the Ohio Controlling Board voted 5-2 to approve Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This decision, which will likely be met by a multitude of legal challenges in the coming months, makes Ohio the 25th state to accept enhanced federal funding to help insure the state’s most impoverished residents. Our map has been updated to reflect these changes.
Posted on October 14, 2013
The HealthReformGPS map documenting the current status of Medicaid expansion and Marketplace structure has been updated to reflect the likelihood that Ohio will be the newest state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Posted on October 8, 2013
The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) issued an overview recapping the first week of open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The publication, NAMD ACA Implementation Snapshot–Open Enrollment, Week 1, provides a qualitative description of how states experienced the first week of the ACA. Specifically, the snapshot describes state and federal communications, media and messaging, state eligibility systems, and state to Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) transfers and hub connectivity.
Posted on October 1, 2013
Several days ago, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report describing how the appropriations impasse and government shutdown will impact the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The report provides background information on the ACA, particularly focusing upon how the law impacts federal spending. This information is followed by an explanation of the various legislative attempts to defund or amend the ACA, as well as legal and procedural considerations in using the appropriations process to attack the law. CRS concludes by examining how the government shutdown would impact ACA implementation. The report found that implementing the ACA would be largely unaffected by the government shutdown, because most of the federal agencies implementing the ACA will be able to rely upon funds outside of discretionary spending and several actions associated with implementing the ACA would be considered exceptions to the Antideficiency Act, the law that bars the federal government from performing certain tasks during a shutdown.
Posted on September 24, 2013
A table compiled by the Urban Institute succinctly summarizes the drastically different impacts of delaying the employer and individual mandates. Ultimately, delaying the employer mandate until 2015 will have little impact on uninsured numbers, premium rates, and the financial stability of hospitals that offer a disproportionately high quantity of uncompensated care. Delaying the individual mandate, however, would negatively impact the insurance market by substantially raising premium prices and harming disproportionate share hospitals.