Connecticut Obamacare Chief Named New Czar of HealthCare.Gov

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has named the head of Connecticut's Obamacare program to run HealthCare.gov for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Kevin Counihan will join CMS officially as Marketplace Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  In addition, Lori Lodes has been named the new Director of Communications for CMS. In […]

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Prove-It-Or-Lose-It Notices Sent to Suspect Obamacare Policyholders

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week sent out 310,000 demands to Obamacare policyholders to verify their citizenship/immigration eligibility. The prove-it-or-lose-it notices followed failed previous attempts to obtain verification from the individuals. The HHS set a deadline of Sept. 5, 2014. If no verification of eligibliity is supplied by that time, the […]

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CMS Exempts U.S. Territories from Most Obamacare Rules

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has informed the U.S. Territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands that most Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions do not apply to them. The provisions that do not apply to the territories are guaranteed issue, the community rating rules, the essential health […]

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HHS Offers States $100 Million to Improve Medicaid

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is ponying up $100 for states to innovate and improve their Medicaid services and patient care. “Medicaid innovation is moving forward, and the new Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program [IAP], announced in response to recommendations from governors, will give states the opportunity to even further strengthen their great […]

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New HHS Secretary to Hire Obamacare Czar

In her first week in office, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell has already shaken up the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) personnel structure and announced plans to hire a "marketplace chief executive officer," in other words, a CEO for HealthCare.gov. In addition, she hired Andy Slavitt, group executive vice president of […]

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CMS Allows 18 States to Forego SHOP ‘Employee Choice’ Until 2016

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) yesterday approved applications by 18 state insurance commissioners to delay offering the "employee choice" option on their Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Under "employee choice," individual employees of a qualifying small business would be able to pick and choose among policies. The states that will not […]

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HHS Scraps Program to Audit Medicare Advantage Plans

After uncovering hundreds of millions — potentially billions — in payments to Medicare Advantage health plans for inflated "risk scores," the Inspector General (IG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) scrapped the audits as too costly this past year, according to a yearlong investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. In 2007 […]

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Obamacare Site to Be Revamped, Hosted by Amazon

The administration's 36-state-and-growing health insurance website is undergoing a makeover for the umpteenth time and will now see many of its functions hosted in the cloud by Amazon.com, according to the Wall Street Journal. Among other changes, HealthCare.gov will feature a new application for insurance and a new comparison tool for weighing plan options. The […]

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CMS Releases Detailed Physician Medicare Payment Data

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released data on physician payments under Medicare in 2012, the first such disclosure in the history of the government-run health care system for those 65 and older. In all, the new "data set has information for over 880,000 distinct health care providers who collectively received $77 […]

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Final Deadline for Obamacare Sign-Ups Finally Finalized

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday announced that those who started their health insurance sign-ups on HealthCare.gov but had difficulties could still enroll — but they must do so by Tax Day, April 15, or face a non-compliance tax penalty at the end of the year. "For those in line on […]

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