ACA Executive Digest, 3rd Issue

In This Issue

  • Cliff Notes for the Insurance Marketplace
  • Health Centers to Help Uninsured Individuals Gain Affordable Health Insurance Coverage
  • U.S. Says It’s on Track to Make Health Exchanges Work
  • Will Health Care Cost Slowdown Last?
  • Disparity in Medical Billing
  • Cigna Plans to Sell Health Insurance on Five Public Exchanges
  • Arizona Among Four States that Snubbed Health Law Gaining Jobs from It

 

Looking For A Health Insurance Marketplace Summary?

The “exchange” is now the Marketplace and most people are confused.  You may find this one page summary of the Health Insurance Marketplace helpful. Cliff Notes for Insurance Marketplace
Health Centers to Help Uninsured Individuals Gain

Affordable Health Insurance Coverage

Obama administration provides $150 million for health centers to offer 
enrollment assistance nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC May 9, 2013 — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced new funding to help more uninsured Americans enroll in new health insurance coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act.  Approximately $150 million will help community health centers provide in-person enrollment assistance to uninsured individuals across the nation.  About 1,200 health centers operate nearly 9,000 service delivery sites nationwide and serve approximately 21 million patients each year.  Arizona’s FQHCs are eligible for $2.2 million in funding.
“Health centers have extensive experience providing eligibility assistance to patients, are providing care in communities across the Nation, and are well-positioned to support enrollment efforts,” Secretary Sebelius said.  “Investing in health centers for outreach and enrollment assistance provides one more way the Obama administration is helping consumers understand their options and enroll in affordable coverage.”
For information on applying for this funding opportunity, visithttp://bphc.hrsa.gov/outreachandenrollment/.
For a list of health centers eligible to apply for this funding visithttp://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/outreachandenrollment/.


Department of Labor Releases Exchange Notice

The Affordable Care Act requires that employers must provide each employee a written notice at the time of hiring that explains their rights to enroll in the Exchanges/Marketplace. In response to employer requests for timely distribution of the form, the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued Technical Release 2013-02 on May 8, 2012 covering the model Exchange Notice and an updated model COBRA Election Notice for group health plans. Copies of the model form and COBRA notice are available on the EBSA website at www.dol.gov/ebsa.
Read more.

U.S. Says It’s on Track to Make Health Exchanges Work

USA Today, Kelly Kennedy, 05/09/2013

The federal government has met its deadlines, tested its system and collected insurance plan information critical to rolling out the 2010 health care law, White House and other federal officials say, despite the rumors of train wrecks, delays and bare-bones health care exchanges rocking Washington. Read More.
Will Health Care Cost Slowdown Last?

National health-care spending from 2009 to 2011 increased by only 3 percent per year.

By BRETT NORMAN | 5/7/13 5:09 AM EDT

Maybe health care won’t bankrupt the country after all. A dramatic slowdown in the growth of health care spending in recent years could be here to stay, according to two studies published Monday by Health Affairs.
But whether the deceleration is just a temporary byproduct of the job losses and belt-tightening from the recession or the result of more enduring systemic changes is among the most controversial and potentially consequential debates in health care policy, and it’s by no means settled.
Read more.

 

Disparity in Medical Billing

By Wilson Andrews, Darla Cameron and Dan Keating, Published: May 8, 2013

For the first time, the government has released prices that hospitals charge for common inpatient procedures. Until now, these charges were competitive secrets in the industry. While the average bill for procedures across the United States varies widely by type of hospital, the Medicare reimbursement amount doesn’t vary much.
The numbers reveal a tremendous, unexplained variation in cost of services. A Washington Post analysis of the data shows that, even on the same street, hospitals can vary by upwards of 300 percent in price for the same service. The average bill for procedures and the average Medicare reimbursement varies by hospital ownership. Two non-profit hospitals that sit on opposite sides of the same street in Miami have different average bill sizes and roughly similar average Medicare payments for the same diagnoses.
Read related article.


Cigna Plans to Sell Health Insurance on Five Public Exchanges

By Caroline Humer 5/7/2013
NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Cigna Corp plans to sell insurance in five public health exchanges in 2014 as part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, its top executive said on Monday. The company will offer health plans to about a dozen metropolitan regions in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Arizona and Colorado, Chief Executive David Cordani said in an interview on Monday. Read more.

 

Four States That Snubbed Health Law Gaining Jobs From It

By Phil Galewitz — May 10th, 2013, 6:04 AM

Four states that have snubbed the federal health law by defaulting to the federal government to build new online insurance marketplaces and not agreeing to expand Medicaid are getting new jobs at call centers that will help consumers understand their new coverage options this fall.
Up to 9,000 jobs are expected to be created at call centers to support the new federally run marketplaces. A Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman said some of them will be added to existing Medicare call centers in Phoenix, Chester, Va., Lawrence, Kan.,  and Tampa, Fla.– all states with Republican leaders who oppose the  law.
Read more.
Looking For A Health Insurance Marketplace Summary?

The “exchange” is now the Marketplace and most people are confused.  You may find this one page summary of the Health Insurance Marketplace helpful. Cliff Notes for Insurance Marketplace