Third Party Resources
Posted on May 20, 2013
The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) recently released proposed premium rates for their state-based health insurance Exchange, Washington Health Plan Finder. Fears of rate increases were assuaged, as the plans presented ultimately indicated more coverage at a reduced cost, attributable to Washington’s already competitive insurance market. The proposed rates must be evaluated by OIC prior to being issued on the Exchange.
Posted on May 14, 2013
A study released by The George Washington University finds that churning, the process of moving in and out of Medicaid in response to income fluctuations, increases hospitalizations and costs for Medicaid beneficiaries. The Continuity of Medicaid Coverage: An Update reports that individuals enrolled in Medicaid for 12 months consecutively pay on average $333/month in medical bills, while those enrolled for one month at a time pay $625/month. The study released last week was funded by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP).
Posted on May 10, 2013
According to a study recently released by the Urban Institute, capping the tax exemption for employer-sponsored coverage could generate $264 billion in revenue by 2023. Limiting the Tax Exclusion of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Premiums: Revenue Potential and Distributional Consequences, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recommends capping the top 25% most expensive health benefits to raise this amount. The study finds such an option would lead to a 16% tax increase for those who file taxes in 2014, and a 20% increase for those who file in 2023.
Posted on May 10, 2013
Oregon is the newest state to release their proposed premium rates for their state-based insurance Exchange. The Oregon Insurance Division posted the requested bronze plan standard plan rate on their website, and are soliciting public comments for the 39 plan options available.
Posted on April 30, 2013
The Brookings Institution recently released a study that indicates how value-based payments and small, conscientious quality improvements to both the private and public insurance sectors can significantly reduce health care costs in the future. Bending the Cure: Person-Centered Health Care Reform, describes how such changes could save the federal government $300 billion over the next 10 years and more than $1 trillion over the next 20 years. Brookings finds that moving to patient-centered care is the ultimate means by which future cost savings can be achieved. For a specific example, the study proposes that Medicare should move away from the fee-for-service model and embrace comprehensive payment organizations.
Posted on April 26, 2013
According to a new survey released by the Commonwealth Fund, 84 million Americans were either uninsured or under-insured in 2012. In addition, 75 million Americans in 2012 were either actively paying or having difficulty paying their medical bills, indicating that medical debt is still a prominent issue. Findings were not bleak for all demographics, however, as the 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey also found that the proportion of uninsured individuals ages 19-25 decreased from 48% to 41% in 2012. This phenomenon is most attributable to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provision that allows children to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
Posted on April 25, 2013
On April 9th, the Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing for Marilyn Tavenner to be the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Committee members submitted additional questions to Tavenner post-hearing on topics ranging from consumer outreach in state insurance Exchanges to pediatric dental services. Health Reform GPS has compiled a list of the Affordable Care Act related questions submitted by the Senate Finance Committee members. The list contains the name of the Senator asking the question, the question number, and the relevant ACA topic addressed.
Posted on April 25, 2013
A study released by the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI) found that in 2012, there were 2,271 state insurance laws on the books. According to CAHI, Rhode Island had the most state-mandated insurance laws at 69, with Idaho having the fewest at 13. CAHI found that the national number of state insurance mandates has grown over 167% in the last 20 years, and this increase in noted as being a contributor to the rising costs of health care.
Posted on April 23, 2013
The Maryland Insurance Administration released proposed rate filings for plans that will be available in the individual and small group markets at the onset of their health insurance Exchange. After examining the proposed rates and the insurance company’s justification for those rates, consumers have the opportunity to submit a public comment within the 30-day review period.
Posted on April 22, 2013
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is out with a new study today that predicts a rise in health care costs. The analysis concludes that by 2019, health care costs will likely grow at a percentage closer to the national historic average, which is above 7%, compared to the 3.9% increase observed in 2009 – 2011. The authors found that the recent lag in health care cost growth was a result of the economic downturn, and pending recovery will likely coincide with increasing health care costs. The study did state that growth may be mitigated by the health care delivery-system reform attributable to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but the most promising predictor of health care costs remains to be the country’s economic status.