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Health-Exchange-Alert

October 24, 2019 | Daily News

Consumers can now find information on 2020 health plan premiums ahead of open enrollment through the web-broker HealthSherpa, but not healthcare.gov, which a key former Obama official says is “shocking” and reflects the Trump administration's deprioritizing of the federal website is favor of private businesses.

October 23, 2019 | Daily News

Federal Judge Margaret Sweeney issued a final judgment in the class action case Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative v. United States ordering the government to reimburse the class of about 100 Affordable Care Act plan issuers nearly $1.6 billion in cost-sharing reduction payments owed for the 2017 and the 2018 plan years.

October 23, 2019 | Daily News

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) on Wednesday (Oct. 23) castigated CMS Administrator Seema Verma on the Trump administration’s support of Medicaid work requirements as Verma, under Kennedy’s questioning, was unable to cite any studies backing the policy.

October 23, 2019 | Daily News

House Democrats on the House Energy & Commerce oversight subcommittee criticized the Trump administration for not having an Affordable Care Act replacement plan ready to go and asked CMS Administrator Seema Verma why CMS has not intervened to defend parts of the health law that protect coverage for people with preexisting conditions in the high-profile Texas case.

October 23, 2019 | Daily News

Washington’s health insurance exchange is now taking public comments on its draft standardized plans, which will serve as the basis for the state’s “Cascade Care” plans that will be available for the 2021 plan year.

October 22, 2019 | Daily News

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that barred HHS from enforcing the Trump administrations rule that allows employers to easily avoid covering birth control without cost-sharing in the 14 plaintiff states.

October 22, 2019 | Daily News

Several senators met with a large group of industry stakeholders on Capitol Hill Tuesday (Oct. 22) to pitch lobbyists on arbitration and to seek a compromise on surprise billing, but after two hours of discussions, the group didn’t seem any closer to a solution.

October 22, 2019 | Daily News

The head of Tennessee’s Medicaid program pledged that the state will not limit eligibility or cut benefits if CMS approves its plan to adopt a block-grant-style funding structure, but opponents of the plan say the unprecedented new freedom from regulatory oversight sought by the state would allow Tennessee to severely curtail coverage, despite its assurances to the contrary.

October 22, 2019 | Daily News

The Republican Study Committee released a health plan that would eliminate large swaths of the Affordable Care Act, standing in contrast to Democrats’ plans to build on the ACA or move to single-payer health care.

October 22, 2019 | Daily News

The average benchmark premiums for health plans sold through the federally facilitated exchanges will decrease by 4 % for a 27-year-old, the second rate drop in as many years, and more insurers will be competing in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces in 2020, HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced Monday (Oct. 21).

October 21, 2019 | Daily News

As Congress tries to zero in on a surprise billing fix, major hospital executives warned Capitol Hill staffers that solving surprise billing through a network-matching strategy could lead to legal woes and limit providers’ ability to negotiate contracts with insurers.

October 21, 2019 | Daily News

A key house panel is poised to mark up this week legislation that slaps a tax on nicotine concentrates used for vaping, and another that lets consumers use tax-free health savings accounts to pay for direct pay primary care arrangements.

October 18, 2019 | Daily News

Arizona is suspending its planned Medicaid work requirements due to legal uncertainty caused by several court rulings that have blocked other states from implementing the policy.

October 18, 2019 | Daily News

The House Oversight & Reform Committee will likely maintain its health care focus following Rep. Elijah Cummings’ death because health care is a defining Democratic policy area and committee staff typically continue work on investigations when leadership changes within the same party, said Henry Waxman (D-CA), who chaired both the Oversight and Energy & Commerce committees.

October 18, 2019 | Daily News

A new study by the left-leaning Center for American Progress hits back the GOP-backed argument that moving to universal health care would force Americans to suffer “massive wait times” with a study showing that actual experiences in the United States and in other countries do not bear out that fear.

October 17, 2019 | Daily News

The Trump administration is focusing on protecting and improving job-based coverage, Medicare and Medicaid that covers the vast majority of Americans and has no plans to draft an Affordable Care Act replacement until there’s a willing Congress or the court makes a final decision, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said during the TIME 100 Health Summit on Thursday (Oct16).

October 17, 2019 | Daily News

The American Medical Association, along with 110 other major physician and medical groups, is trying to convince the Senate change its surprise billing policy by eliminating its proposed benchmark payment rate for providers and only using an independent dispute resolution process, arguing that a benchmark payment rate could lead to market consolidation and artificially low payment rates.

October 16, 2019 | Daily News

CMS Administrator Seema Verma will face the House Energy & Commerce oversight subcommittee next week where she is certain to field tough questions from Democratic lawmakers who have long sought explanations for the administration’s health care policy choices, only to be repeatedly rebuffed.

October 16, 2019 | Daily News

Stakeholders who cheered a district court ruling that shot down key pieces of the Trump administration’s rule that expanded association health plans are likely to face a steeper challenge in the appeals court where they’ll be arguing before a panel of judges appointed by two GOP presidents and one Democrat.

October 16, 2019 | Daily News

House Ways & Means ranking Republican Kevin Brady (TX) told reporters that committee Republicans want to see a surprise billing fix that includes both a benchmark payment rate and arbitration, and that committee Chairman Richard Neal’s (D-MA) negotiated rulemaking proposal is a non-starter.

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