CMS Administrator Reaffirms Opposition to Medicaid Caps

At a health care symposium this week, Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), reaffirmed her agency’s commitment to keeping Medicaid available to its recipients without any lifetime limits or caps. Her statement follows her earlier rejection of a request by Kansas to cap Medicaid services in the state. “We’ve indicated […]

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IRS Allows Provisional Relief for Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit

The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance that provides relief for certain small employers who wish to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for 2017 and later years but  whose businesses reside in counties with no Obamacare small business health insurance available. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit can benefit certain small employers who […]

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House Farm Bill Contains Funds for Rural Association Health Plans

Tucked inside the massive House farm bill now under consideration is a measure to help fund rural association health plans to the tune of $65 million over four years, to be doled out at the secretary of Agriculture’s discretion. Under the bill, starting next year, the secretary  could grant up to 10 loans of no […]

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New Jersey Votes to Resurrect the Obamacare Individual Mandate

The New Jersey legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, that would reinstate the expiring individual health insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). Under terms of the bill — New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act — those who lack health insurance would be subject to a […]

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CMS Cites Cost Effectiveness of 2018 Obamacare Open Enrollment

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its final report on the 2018 open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) policies, touting the cost effectiveness of the new approach. In 2017, CMS spent $100 million in advertising and promotion for open enrollment, coming out to $11 per enrollee; in […]

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Obamacare Subsidies, Tip-Pooling Wage Theft Out in Federal Budget Deal

BREAKING: The Senate approved the House version in the wee hours of Friday, March 23, and President Trump signed the measure the next day, averting a government shutdown. The bill funding the federal government through September still faces a stiff deadline of Friday at midnight ET, but at least the details are now becoming clear: […]

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CMS Blocks Idaho’s Attempt to Circumvent Obamacare

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) yesterday stepped in to void Idaho’s attempt to sell health insurance policies that do not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CMS Administrator Seema Verma sent a letter to Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, a Republican, and Idaho Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron saying […]

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Trump Administration Follows Through on Longer-Term Skimpy Health Plans

In direct response to President Trump’s October 2017 Executive Order, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury today issued a proposed rule that is intended to increase competition, choice, and access to lower-cost healthcare options for Americans. The rule proposes to expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by […]

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HHS Chief Says He Will Uphold the ACA

Health and Human Services (HHS) head Alex Azar, when pressed about the legality of Idaho’s plan to market non-Affordable Care Act (ACA) health policies, affirmed his support for the 2010 legislation that in essence federalizes standards for health insurance. “I’m not aware that our opinions or views have been solicited,” Azar said. “There are rules, […]

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Obamacare Enrollment Tops Out at 11.7 Million

With California being the last state to report its Obamacare enrollment figure for 2018, the final tally for the nationwide effort came in at 11.7 million sign-ups. California was among the last of the 11 states and District of Columbia to close their enrollment on Jan. 31. Earlier, with its exchanges closed on Dec. 15, […]

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