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Health-Exchange-Alert

February 26, 2021 | Daily News

The Biden administration’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force’s inaugural meeting featured calls from experts for a massive data collection campaign that includes real-time COVID-19 outcomes divided by zip codes, individual-level education and occupation data, and data from insurance companies on COVID-19 testing and treatment coverage, among other information.

February 26, 2021 | Daily News

Beneficiary advocates Nebraska Appleseed and the National Health Law Program sued Nebraska over its version of Medicaid work requirements in district court after the state urged the Supreme Court to allow its 1115 demonstration to continue even if the court were to strike down work requirement programs in New Hampshire and Arkansas.

February 26, 2021 | Daily News

The Department of Labor on Friday (Feb. 26) extended the one-year timeframe for a worker to elect COBRA coverage for another year, since the original policy was slated to wind down.

February 26, 2021 | Daily News

Democrat Sens. Tim Kaine (VA) and Michael Bennet (CO) on Tuesday formally introduced updated legislation that would phase-in a public option based on the Medicare framework and available in the individual and small group exchanges.

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

A provision allocating $1.8 billion to assisted living centers and other congregate settings has been cut from the COVID-19 package, infuriating stakeholders who say the federal government is abandoning seniors and their caregivers in their greatest time of need.

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

States would be given a seven-year authorization to offer 12 months of Medicaid and Children’s Insurance Program coverage to postpartum individuals under the manager’s amendment to the House COVID-19 relief legislation, which is set to be voted on Friday (Feb. 26).

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

The House passed legislation Thursday (Feb. 25) to effectively scrap a Trump administration rule that didn’t recognize gender identity discrimination under the umbrella of sex discrimination in the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1557.

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BSBCA) last week unveiled a policy brief outlining a pathway to a more equitable, lower-cost health system with coverage for all.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra on Wednesday again stressed that despite his long-held support of Medicare for All, if confirmed he will be serving at the pleasure of the President Joe Biden who has made clear that he wants to achieve universal health care by building off the Affordable Care Act.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice told the Supreme Court that Arkansas has no leg to stand on in asking the court to continue reviewing the Medicaid work requirements lawsuit, as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape from when the 1115 demonstrations were initially granted, the state’s work requirements likely won’t go into effect before the demonstration expires at the end of 2021 and the state is basing some of its arguments on lawsuits that don’t exist.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

Stakeholders that offer or manage tax-preferred health savings or flexible spending accounts want Congress -- or the administration -- to tweak IRS rules to clarify that personal protective equipment like masks, shields or hand sanitizer can be considered a qualified medical expense and thus reimbursable for accountholders.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra told Senate health committee members Tuesday (Feb. 23) he would follow the data to set the length of the public health emergency, use provider relief funds to help nursing homes and back President Joe Biden’s push for a Medicare buy-in program.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

The Center for a Responsible Federal Budget wants the Senate to consider capping Medicare Parts B and D drug prices at the rate of inflation to pay for the increased ACA tax credits included in pandemic-relief legislation that they said don’t have to do with the pandemic.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

The Biden administration came out in strong support of House legislation that would essentially codify this summer’s Supreme Court ruling that found a ban on sex discrimination extends to gender identity and sexual orientation, and ensure the ruling applies to health care. The bill is expected to pass the House on Thursday, but its fate in the Senate is less secure.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to cancel arguments in the lawsuit over Medicaid work requirements and let HHS go through its process to revoke the 1115 demonstrations instead – but Arkansas says HHS’ revocation efforts could also end up in court so the case should proceed.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

As the Biden administration pushes for more over-the-counter and at-home COVID-19 tests, health technology and privacy experts say they’re worried about the lack of privacy regulations in the space.

February 22, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) Monday (Feb. 22) expressed confidence that subsidies for COBRA coverage will make it into the final COVID-19 relief package, and he affirmed that while a public option is not in the current bill, he strongly supports the policy as a way to constrain costs.

February 22, 2021 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats are attempting to use the COVID-19 relief package to revamp a Trump-era rule that left 4 million Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine because they didn’t meet the full benefit threshold.

February 22, 2021 | Daily News

The Supreme Court agreed Monday (Feb. 22) to hear oral arguments in a case challenging the Trump-era public charge rule, but stakeholders say it’s likely the Biden administration will rescind the Trump administration policy before arguments are heard.

February 19, 2021 | Daily News

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure has been an advocate for maternal health equity, expanded data collection and overturning Medicaid work requirements throughout her health policy career, hinting at what might be in store for her tenure as CMS administrator if confirmed by the Senate.

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