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Health-Exchange-Alert

June 21, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine said she wants to prioritize children’s mental health along with other research, treatment and recovery issues, saying the National Institute of Mental Health is in a unique position to study and rectify COVID-19's impact on youth mental health.

June 18, 2021 | Daily News

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Friday stressed a willingness to work with states interested in expanding their Medicaid programs, saying there’s still time for those that want to take advantage of the increased federal matching money in the American Rescue Plan.

June 18, 2021 | Daily News

Forty-two states reportedly have applied and been approved for extensions to submit to CMS their initial spending plans and narratives required to access the increased federal Medicaid matching funds for home- and community-based services from the American Rescue Plan, a trend one stakeholder says was expected and isn’t likely to hurt states’ abilities to use the funds.

June 18, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) and ranking Republican Tim Scott (R-SC) agreed at a Thursday (June 17) hearing that more thought needs to be given to home- and community-based services policy, but Casey hailed President Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $400 billion in HCBS as the way forward while Scott said a more person-centered, local approach is needed.

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

While ACA supporters hope the high court’s 7-2 decision to dismiss the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act for lack of standing will end the years-long attack on the law, Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch say in their dissent that further legal action is still possible.

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

While ACA supporters hope the high court’s 7-2 decision to dismiss the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act for lack of standing will end the years-long attack on the law, Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch say in their dissent that further legal action is still possible.

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced a bill Thursday (June 17) that would allow county, city or other local governments to expand Medicaid to cover adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level in states that have yet to expand coverage to that level.

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

Democratic lawmakers, beneficiary advocates, insurers, hospitals, and other stakeholders cheered the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision to throw out the GOP challenge to the Affordable Care Act and called on Congress to now take steps to build upon the law.

June 16, 2021 | Daily News

Colorado and Nevada enacted legislation creating a standardized health plan and a public option, respectively, that will compete with private insurers on exchanges; New York health plans take issue with legislation on mail-order pharmacies and other recently passed bills; and several states have published their 2022 proposed rates for the individual and small group markets.

June 16, 2021 | Daily News

President Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $400 billion in home- and community-based services would boost funding for social determinants of health within the HCBS program, and some health care stakeholders are optimistic the investment could be a step towards broader social determinants funding.

June 16, 2021 | Daily News

The Federation for American Hospitals (FAH) on Tuesday offered three recommendations for the surprise billing rulemaking: The administration should ensure adequate stakeholder engagement, avoid policies that would create de facto benchmarks based on qualified payment amounts or advantage health plans over providers, and ensure notice and consent provisions allow exceptions for providers unable to comply.

June 15, 2021 | Daily News

HHS hints in its latest regulatory agenda that a proposed exchange rule now under White House review will extend the open enrollment period for the 2022 benefit year, although it's unclear for how long.

June 14, 2021 | Daily News

Medicaid expansion is gaining traction in Wyoming, even passing the Wyoming House of Representatives earlier this year, but with a July special session to discuss the policy now off the table and concerns among state lawmakers about using Medicaid funding to pay for abortion care, roadblocks remain.

June 14, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure on Monday (June 14) announced that more than 1.24 million people signed up for coverage through healthcare.gov from the Feb. 15 launch of the special enrollment period through May 31, and about one-third of Americans who have either enrolled or returned to the exchange to access new tax credits since April 1 have plans costing $10 or less due to the American Rescue Plan.

June 10, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra agreed with Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) that Congress should revisit the Affordable Care Act’s affordability threshold for employer-sponsored coverage, currently set at around 10% of income, so that it aligns with current policy on the exchanges.

June 10, 2021 | Daily News

The 2022 medical cost trend for commercial and self-insured employers will 6.5%, or slightly lower than 2021 yet still somewhat higher than the recent pre-pandemic rate, PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) predicts in its annual report dubbed Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers.

June 10, 2021 | Daily News

A lawsuit seeking to get rid of a two-tiered benefits system for Nebraska’s Medicaid expansion population has been put on hold after the state decided to end the tiered system last week.

June 10, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra told lawmakers Wednesday (June 9) the department might soon take steps to curb non-ACA-compliant plans, including short-term plans, that beneficiary advocates and Democratic lawmakers say are proliferating the markets and harming consumers, but he again deferred to Congress to lay a path for a potential public option.

June 09, 2021 | Daily News

The first part of the highly anticipated rulemaking on the surprise billing legislation enacted late last year is now under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), surprising some stakeholders who expected CMS might miss early deadlines.

June 09, 2021 | Daily News

California Rep. Ro Khanna (D) and 24 Democratic colleagues on Tuesday (June 8) reintroduced legislation to create a waiver giving states access to federal funding and regulatory flexibility needed to support universal health care coverage.

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