HHS Estimates That 105 Million More Americans Now Have Unlimited Health Benefits

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits health plans from imposing a lifetime dollar limit on most benefits received by Americans in any health plan renewing on or after Sept. 23, 2010.  While some plans already provided coverage with no limits on lifetime benefits, millions of Americans were previously in health plans that did not.   […]

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HHS Issues Final Regulations on Plain Language Health Insurance Summaries

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today issued final regulations and sample templates for health insurers to follow in providing the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. The SBCs will become available to consumers of private insurance no later than Sept. […]

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HHS Cites Trustmark for ‘Unreasonable’ Health Insurance Premium Increases

Health insurance premium increases in five states have been deemed “unreasonable” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced recently. After independent expert review, HHS determined that Trustmark Life Insurance Company has proposed unreasonable health insurance premium increases in five states—Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming.  The excessive rate […]

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States Receive Nearly $300 Million in CHIPRA Performance Bonuses

Twenty-three states that have implemented at least five of eight programs to streamline children's health insurance coverage and meet enrollment targets will receive more than $296 million in federal performance bonuses, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department announced Wednesday. The performance bonus payments are funded under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), […]

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Obama to Let States Decide Benefits Under PPACA Health Insurance Exchanges

In a move that seemed to please neither side of the argument, President Obama has agreed to let the states decide benefit levels for health insurance policies that will be sold on the exchanges being set up for 2014 to service individuals and small groups. As initially envisioned in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care […]

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HHS Releases Final Rule on Medical Loss Ratio on Health Insurance

In a rebuff to insurance agents who pleaded that their commissions should not be included in the administrative expense ratio of health insurance policies, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Friday (Dec. 3, 2011) issued final regulations locking in stone the 80/20 ration envisioned by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act […]

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OCR to Begin HIPAA Privacy and Security Audits

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) this month is commencing its first round of audits focusing on covered entities' HIPAA security and privacy rule compliance. A pilot audit program running through April 2012 will check compliance at 20 firms to form the basis for auditing procedures in the future. Eventually, 150 covered entities will be […]

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Supreme Court Today Weighing Whether to Tackle Health Care Reform

The U.S. Supreme Court, in secret session today, is debating whether to take up the issue of the constitutionality of the Obama administration's health care reform legislation, now dubbed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At issue is whether the law's individual mandate that all Americans must purchase insurance if it's not otherwise provided for them […]

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Proposed Regulations Issued on PPACA Disclosure Requirements

The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Labor (DOL) have joined the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in proposing regulations to fulfill the requirement of 2010's health care reform for insurers to issue full statements of benefits to all affected. These summaries of benefits were mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act […]

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OCR Makes Annual Report on HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule Compliance

In its annual report to Congress, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) said it is developing audit protocol to conduct audits of up to 145 covered entities in an ongoing effort to enforce the privacy and security rules of HIPAA. The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is […]

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