CMS Announces Special Enrollment Period Confirmation Process

After big insurers like UnitedHealthcare threatened to leave the Obamacare exchanges because of abuse of the system, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this past week that it was creating a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Confirmation Process, to be phased in after public feedback. The CMS site says: Once the new Special […]

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Medicaid Enrollment Eclipses the Marketplaces in Total Numbers

Through October 2015, the Obamacare provision that allows states to enroll anyone earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level into Medicare has netted 13.5 million new enrollees, eclipsing marketplace sign-ups — both state and federal — by a couple of million people. (The 13.5 million number also include enrollees into the Children’s […]

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Consumer-Friendly Features Added to HealthCare.Gov

As consumers count down to today’s enrollment deadline for Jan. 1 coverage, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that new HealthCare.gov consumer decision support features piloted earlier this enrollment season are now fully deployed for all visitors.  The new Out-of-Pocket Cost calculator, Doctor and Facility Lookup, and Prescription Drug Lookup features will help consumers to […]

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Obamacare Sign-Ups Already Surpass Dec. 15 Goal

Though critics claim the goal of 900,000 new Obamacare sign-ups by Dec. 15 was modest to begin with, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week that the state and federal exchanges have already secured 1 million new enrollees. In all, 2.83 million have signed up this year, according to CMS. Dec. 15 […]

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HHS to Release Consumer Rights Guidance on Health Records

As part of the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hopes to release by the end of the year four documents detailing consumer rights regarding their health records, according to Deven McGraw, HHS deputy director for health information privacy. She said the documents, likely in FAQ format, would […]

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HealthCare.gov Beta Tests Doctor Lookup Feature

Beginning today, HealthCare.gov is piloting a new beta feature that allows consumers to search plans by their preferred provider or health facility. Some consumers will be part of a pilot that allows them to use the beta Doctor Lookup feature as they compare their coverage options in window shopping or when selecting a plan. “The […]

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Study Finds 15 Percent of Obamacare Plans Lack Specialist Coverage

To keep premiums — and expenses — low, health insurance companies rely on what are called “narrow networks” of providers, limiting the consumer’s options. Now the Harvard School of Public Health has found that 15 percent of the 135 silver plans its researchers studied did not include a single in-network specialist for at least one […]

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Getting More Uninsured into Obamacare a ‘Bigger Challenge’ This Year

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell told a group of medical students yesterday that getting those who are still uninsured to sign up during the next open enrollment period is going to be a “bigger challenge.” Speaking at the Howard University College of Medicine, Burwell said, “But while our goals may be […]

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CMS Gears Up for Obamacare Open Enrollment Starting Nov. 1

With Marketplace Open Enrollment set to begin on Nov. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced grant awards totaling $67 million to support outreach efforts designed to connect people with local help as they seek to understand the coverage options and financial assistance available at HealthCare.gov. Awarded to 100 organizations located […]

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HHS Releases Long-Awaited Nondiscrimination Rule for Health Care

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule to advance health equity and reduce disparities in health care.  The proposed rule, Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities, will assist some of the populations that have been most vulnerable to discrimination and will help provide those populations equal access to health […]

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