RWJF publishes navigator resource guide
Posted by Nikki Hurt 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.
New Resources Available to Help Understand and Digest Health Information Laws
Posted by Nikki Hurt on September 13, 2013
Health Information & the Law, a project at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS), released new resources on a website that offers easy-to-understand content on key issues related to the use and exchange of health information and how it affects the transformation of the U.S. health care system to a patient-centered, value-based system.
“The exchange of health information is critical to the transformation of our health care system,” says Jane Hyatt Thorpe, JD, project co-director and associate professor of health policy at the SPHHS. “These two new resources will help policymakers, consumers, health professionals, providers, and others better understand how health information laws can support rather than hinder the exchange of health information.”
The two new resources, Fast Facts and Myth Busters, add to the website’s library of material on federal and state laws governing the access, use, release and publication of health information.
Both offer insight into federal and state laws and regulations that govern health information, including implications for health care delivery, payment and beyond. Examples of the new resources now available at HealthInfoLaw.org include:
- Fast Facts: What types of data do public health agencies collect?
- Myth Buster: MYTH: Public health data exception to HIPAA
- Fast Facts: How is data collected & used in a health insurance marketplace?
- Myth Buster: MYTH: Patients may sue providers for disclosing patient health information in violation of HIPAA
This library of resources will continue to grow over time and will include Fast Facts and Myth Busters on topics such as privacy and confidentiality, health information technology, HIPAA, public health data, health insurance marketplaces, and security. These new series augment existing resources available at HealthInfoLaw.org including summaries of federal and state laws and regulations governing health information as well as in-depth analyses, comparative state maps and decision tools.
“Health information laws can be quite complex,” said Lara Cartwright-Smith, JD, MPH, project co-director and assistant research professor of health policy at the SPPHS. “These new resources, as well as the other content on the website, are intended to break down common misperceptions and barriers and highlight opportunities for broader health information exchange.”
Health Information & the Law is a project of the George Washington University’s Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program, developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The new resources and additional material can be accessed at www.HealthInfoLaw.org.
Georgetown Health Policy Institute and RWJF discusses shift to EHB
Posted by Nikki Hurt on August 14, 2013
A report recently published by Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), describes how states and health insurers are adopting the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) essential health benefits (EHB) requirements. Pursuant to the ACA, insurers offering plans in the individual and small group health insurance Marketplaces are required to offer benefits within the 10 specified EHB categories. RWJF found that for most Americans, benefit coverage will not drastically change. If anything, most individuals will now have access to services previously not covered by insurance, such as maternity health, mental health, and prescription drugs.
Health Affairs brief discusses premium tax credits
Posted by Nikki Hurt on August 3, 2013
A new policy brief published by Health Affairs, in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, explains the premium tax credit that will be provided to eligible individuals under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the ACA, individuals with an income between 100-400% of the federal poverty level purchasing health insurance through the Marketplaces will qualify to receive a subsidy to offset a portion of the premium costs. The brief specifically focuses on the premium tax credit provisions within the law, how the subsidies will be calculated and administered, and the various methods by which the government and third-party entities are educating the public on the subsidies.
Urban Institute report compares impact of individual and employer mandates
Posted by Nikki Hurt on July 16, 2013
A new Urban Institute report explains how the employer shared responsibility payment, or employer mandate, has substantially less impact on the success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) than the individual mandate. It’s No Contest: The ACA’s Employer Mandate Has Far Less Effect on Coverage and Costs Than the Individual Mandate, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, details how Urban Institute utilized their Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model to compare coverage distribution with the full ACA, ACA without the employer mandate, and ACA without the individual mandate. The Urban Institute purports that although the delay of the employer mandate will have little appreciable impact on cost and coverage associated with the ACA, delaying the individual mandate would remove a pillar of the ACA, thereby inhibiting fulfillment of the law’s overarching intent.
Urban Institute report highlights how states engage insurerer participation and competition
Posted by Nikki Hurt on July 12, 2013
A new Urban Institute analysis purports that insurance Exchanges are already exhibiting competition that will result in reasonably-priced premiums. Insurer Participation and Competition in Health Insurance Exchanges: Early Indicators Show Healthy Competition, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that the six states studied have incentivized participation from multiple insurers and have relied upon market forces to drive down costs. Moreover, the report explains how the federal government may benefit from the approaches utilized by these states, as lower premiums correlate to fewer subsidies from the government in the form of premium assistance.
Urban Institute examines SHOP implementation in six states
Posted by Nikki Hurt on June 28, 2013
A recent report released by Urban Institute follows the development of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange. The SHOP Exchange is an important provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) designed to increase health benefit options for employees and simplify the administrative processes for small business owners. Implementation of Small Business Exchanges in Six States, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, explores SHOP implementation in Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island. The report also addresses challenges facing multiple SHOP Exchanges, such as clearly communicating the benefits of SHOP to employers.
Urban Institute examines state roles in FFE
Posted by Nikki Hurt on June 14, 2013
A new report published by Urban Institute describes the different roles states are playing in their respective federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFE). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires every state to host an online individual and small group insurance market, and states that elected not to set up their own Exchange defaulted to FFE. State-Level Progress in Implementation of Federally Facilitated Exchanges, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, discusses three case studies of states that are implementing FFE, including the various responsibilities each state has undertaken and the challenges they are facing. Several states, for instance, are playing active roles in the development of their respective Exchanges, while one state is significantly behind as a result of political and administrative setback.
Urban Institute assesses state Medicaid Managed Care preparedness
Posted by Nikki Hurt on May 29, 2013
A new report from the Urban Institute, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, interviewed health care stakeholders in eight states to determine if Medicaid managed care programs were prepared for the imminent influx of beneficiaries resulting from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion. Researchers found that managed care programs generally possess a strong organizational and operational structure that would permit them to readily absorb new beneficiaries. In an effort to mitigate the negative implications of churn, the study also found that some states will choose to offer private plans similar to those of Medicaid. One challenge addressed by the report was the ability of each state’s health information technology to uptake a vast increase of new enrollees and eligibility processes.
Consumer Union finds that ACA brochure helps Americans understand premium tax credits
Posted by Nikki Hurt on May 17, 2013
Consumer Union (CU) and the Kleinmann Communication Group Inc. recently conducted a study on the effectiveness of a brochure, created by CU, in educating individuals on the advance premium tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Helping Consumers Understand the New Premium Tax Credit, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, demystified 10 key aspects of the premium tax credit to consumers, including when enrollment into ACA Exchanges begins and ends, when tax credits apply, and when individuals would need to report the tax credit on their tax return. The study was conducted in Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah.