CHIP Program Funded Through End of the Year

As part of a stopgap federal government spending measure passed today by both the House and Senate, funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been authorized through the end of 2017. Meanwhile, funding for the federal government will expire on Dec. 22, presumably giving Republicans long enough to pass their tax reform reconciliation […]

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Health Care Spending Slows Nationally, Rises Individually

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported on Dec. 6 that health care spending in 2016 slowed its growth rate, whereas individuals’ out-of-pocket costs rose. In 2016 health care expenditures reached $3.3 trillion, an increase of 4.3 percent, following two years of rapid growth during the first years of the Affordable Care Act […]

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Hargan Named New Acting HHS Secretary

Confirmed and sworn in just a week ago as the number two executive at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Eric Hargan, has now been named the department’s acting secretary, taking over for Don Wright. Wright had previously been named acting secretary by President Trump following the Sept. 29 resignation of Tom Price, […]

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CMS Says 63 Counties to Be Without Obamacare Provider

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted an update to its Health Insurance Exchanges Issuer County Map. This map is of projected issuer participation on the Health Insurance Exchanges in 2018 based on the known issuer public announcements through Sept. 13, 2017. Participation is expected to fluctuate and does not represent actual […]

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CMS Seeks More Control Over Medicare Advantage Plans

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public comment before it submits a proposal for more review power over Medicare Advantage plans in order “to provide adequate access to covered services to meet the needs of the population served.” The CMS says it will submit the broader review plan to the Office […]

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Obamacare Policy Issuers Decrease by 38 Percent from 2016-17

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that 141 individual market qualified health plan (QHP) issuers had submitted initial applications to offer coverage using the federally-facilitated exchange eligibility and enrollment platform (healthcare.gov) in 2018. At the initial filing deadline last year, 227 issuers submitted an application compared to 141 this year, a […]

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CMS Releases County-by-County Map of Obamacare Insurance Options

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a county-level map of 2018 projected Health Insurance Exchanges participation based on the known issuer participation public announcements through June 9, 2017. This map shows that insurance options on the Exchanges continue to disappear. Plan options are down from last year and, in some areas, Americans […]

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CMS Issues States ACA Waiver Checklist

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released new information to help states seek waivers from requirements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new tool is intended to help states complete waiver applications that allow them to establish high-risk pools/ state-operated reinsurance programs. Section 1332 waivers generally can be used by states […]

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Trump Issues Gag Order on Federal Agencies — Or Not?

Various media reports maintain that both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture have received memos from the White House forbidding them to send out press releases, make new blog posts or engage in social media. Furthermore, the EPA has been told to cease issuing grants and contracts. It’s unclear if any other government […]

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CMS Aims to Beat Trump by Three Days on ACA for 2018

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the health insurance marketplaces and regulates the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), on Friday threw down the gauntlet to President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming administration by issuing a final rule for the ACA for 2018 — setting its effective date three days prior to Trump’s swearing in. […]

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