When It Comes to Short-Term Health Plans, Some States Just Say No

While the Trump administration has rolled out plans to make available short-term health plans, up from the current 90 days to 12 months in duration, some states have already said they don’t want any part. Since the plans don’t have to include all the essential health benefits (EHBs) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or […]

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Maine Receives Waiver to Establish ACA Reinsurance Plan

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has issued a Section 1332 Waiver to Maine to allow the state to set up a reinsurance plan to help pay the medical costs of residents with certain qualifying conditions, thus helping lower the health insurance premiums of all consumers in Maine. Gov. Paul LePage has subsequently […]

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Short-Term Health Plans to Be Offered Beginning in October

The departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL) and the Treasury (DOT) today issued a final rule allowing for the sale and renewal of short-term, limited-duration health plans that cover longer periods than the previous maximum period of less than three months. Such coverage can now cover an initial period of less than […]

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New York Leads Attorney General Coalition Fighting AHPs

Twelve “blue state” attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, are taking the Trump administration to court over its final rule allowing the creation of newly invigorated Association Health Plans (AHPs). The coalition is targeting a final rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL), which loosens and expands the definition of […]

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Three States Join Challenge to Constitutionality of Obamacare

With the addition of North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin this week, the lawsuit against the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) is now being waged in Texas — where the legal action originated — by a combined 23 states. The crux of the lawsuit, filed by the Texas attorney general, is […]

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CMS Cuts Obamacare Navigator Funding from $36M to $10M

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Navigator program, which funds groups and individuals to help walk people through the Obamacare sign-up process, is being cut financially once again by the Trump administration, this time from $36 million to $10 million. In 2017, funding stood at $63 million. Regardless of the federal outlay, the Navigator program has […]

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ACA Risk-Adjusted Payments Halted after Judge’s Ruling

UPDATE: On Tuesday, July 24, the Trump administration restored the risk-adjusted payments to prevent “chaos” in the health insurance market. Risk-adjusted payments, a principal component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) that seeks to level the playing field among insurers, have been put on hold by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services […]

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IRS Preparing to Send 2016 Obamacare Penalty Notices

Even as many applicable large employers (ALEs) grapple with Employer Shared Responsibility Penalty (ESRP) letters from 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is preparing to issue more such letters — known as Letter 226-J — for 2015, with still more coming later this year for 2016. Still down the road later this year, the agency […]

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CMS Proclaims a ‘Death Spiral’ for Unsubsidized Obamacare Policyholders

Though the actual number of open enrollment Obamacare policyholders who paid their premiums the first month rose over 2017 by 3 percent — standing at 10.6 million people for 2018 — those seeking policies who didn’t qualify for subsidies fell by as much as one-third in many states, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services […]

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CHIP Survives Senate Rescission Vote

A move by the Trump administration to claw back nearly $15 in spending from the massive March 23 budget bill has failed in the Senate in a vote eerily similar to last summer’s vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rescission measure would have hit the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) hardest at […]

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