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Health-Exchange-Alert

February 09, 2021 | Daily News

Better Medicare Alliance, a coalition of Medicare Advantage advocates, wants policymakers to reward MA plans for addressing health disparities as part of policymakers’ COVID-19 response, as well as promote telehealth and other alternative care and streamline the MA enrollment experience by shifting the responsibility to HHS, according to the group’s 2021 policy agenda, released exclusively to Inside Health Policy.

February 08, 2021 | Daily News

Americans who have lost their jobs and are enrolled in unemployment during 2021 would be eligible to receive the maximum amount of Affordable Care Act tax credits under the COVID-19 reconciliation language unveiled by the House Ways & Means Committee late Monday.

February 08, 2021 | Daily News

The leaders of 19 state-based marketplaces have joined to encourage Congress to increase subsidies for lower-income Americans and remove the subsidy cliff that blocks those in the middle-class from help as they craft the next COVID-19 relief package.

February 08, 2021 | Daily News

The American Hospital Association placed a priority on COVID-19 relief in its 2021 policy agenda document, which asks Congress and the Biden administration for increased support for providers, protection for patients’ access to insurance and permanent telehealth flexibilities.

February 08, 2021 | Daily News

The exchange director under the Trump administration is launching a new consulting firm that will provide research, strategic advice and consulting services to health care companies across the spectrum: Randolph Pate Advisory LLC will officially open its doors on Tuesday (Feb. 9).

February 05, 2021 | Daily News

Employees who lost job-based coverage due to lay-offs or furloughs could get fully subsidized COBRA coverage under legislation introduced Thursday (Jan. 28) by a group of 11 Democratic senators led by Majority Whip Dick Durbin (IL) and Catherine Cortez Masto (NV).

February 05, 2021 | Daily News

While the Senate “vote-a-rama” held Thursday night featured mostly a slew of messaging bills, the Senate did add several health-related non-binding amendments to the resolution, including a deficit-neutral fund for legislation that would expand the use of health savings accounts (HSAs), new commissions tasked with improving the solvency of the federal trust funds and more.

February 05, 2021 | Daily News

The health insurance lobby leading the lawsuit over the Trump administration’s rule that expands the duration of short-term health plans is deliberating its next steps now that a federal appeals court has declined to rehear their case en banc and that the Biden administration is expected to reverse the rule as part of its regulatory review.

February 05, 2021 | Daily News

The Senate late Thursday (Feb. 4) agreed to add to the budget resolution a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) that aims to replenish the Provider Relief Fund by $35 billion, with 20% set aside for rural hospitals. Only one senator, Mike Lee (R-UT), voted against the language, which now could be included as congressional committees write legislation for Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package.

February 04, 2021 | Daily News

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case over the validity of Trump-era 1115 Medicaid work requirement waivers on March 29, the court said Feb. 1.

February 04, 2021 | Daily News

Immigrant advocates suing over the former Trump administration’s controversial public charge rule plan to pow wow with Biden’s Department of Justice on next steps in their suits, given the new administration is considering revoking the rule.

February 04, 2021 | Daily News

States are not in as bad shape as some experts first feared but they're still facing an uncertain road to financial recovery, sparking concerns from health advocates that governors and lawmakers might resort to reducing Medicaid benefits like dental coverage if states don’t get federal relief.

February 04, 2021 | Daily News

Medicare Advantage grew to almost 26 million enrollees last month, and while plans and MA advocates are pleased, other beneficiary advocates say Congress and CMS need to do a better job about treating the private plans and fee-for-service coverage equally.

February 04, 2021 | Daily News

Roger Severino, former director of HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR), late Wednesday, sued President Biden and other officials for asking him to resign from an independent federal advisory committee that focuses on administrative procedure only weeks after being reappointed by former President Trump and significantly short of his expected three- year tenure.

February 03, 2021 | Daily News

The Supreme Court on Wednesday (Jan. 3) did not issue a ruling on high profile case over the Affordable Care Act, despite speculation a decision potentially could come due to Friday’s announcement that some opinions would be out Feb. 3.

February 03, 2021 | Daily News

Pennsylvania’s newly launched state-based exchange says the state saw a nearly 10% increase in new enrollment compared to last year and announced it will join several state exchanges by reopening its exchange for three-months to align with healthcare.gov.

February 03, 2021 | Daily News

Progressive advocates and health experts say President Joe Biden’s newly signed order directing federal agencies to revisit the Trump administration’s controversial public charge rule is a good first step to increasing Medicaid enrollment, but it will take a formal reversal of the rule and community outreach to undo the chilling effects of the policy.

February 03, 2021 | Daily News

President Joe Biden’s national COVID-19 response plan commits to expanding the social service safety net to provide for unmet basic needs exacerbated by the pandemic, which experts and advocates say will likely translate into broadening Medicaid to cover more social determinants of health down the road.

February 02, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Democratic leadership tapped Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) as the newest member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee that oversees public health programs and taxes, and the progressive senator immediately announced that she will push for a wealth tax and work to expand Medicaid, lower the age to enroll in Medicare and cut drug prices.

February 02, 2021 | Daily News

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is pushing legislation that, coupled with the executive orders signed last week, would advance President Joe Biden’s health reform agenda by eliminating the ACA’s subsidy cliff, allowing Medicare drug price negotiation, incentivizing Medicaid expansion, and establishing a public option, although Warner’s version is limited to individual and small group exchanges.

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