HHS has proposed a new rule that would make it easier for employers to help their workers cover medical expenses by using health reimbursement accounts (HRAs).
The proposal would allow employers to subsidize employees who buy their own health insurance either on or off the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Employers who cover their workers — and that’s been more stable than many expected under the ACA — could give employees up to $1,800 a year (indexed to inflation) to finance HRAs, which are tax-advantaged accounts. That would go toward out-of-pocket costs. Continue reading
The Trump administration has released new guidance that revamps the Affordable Care Act (ACA) state innovation waivers – also known as 1332 waivers – to give states more flexibility to expand access to less expensive non-ACA plans.
One of the biggest changes would be allowing people to use their ACA subsidies to buy insurance outside of ACA markets, including short-term plans or association health plans that don’t meet ACA coverage and patient protection rules. Continue reading
Dana Gelb Safran
Last spring, Atul Gawande, M.D., became chief executive officer of an unnamed initiative that will cover the health costs of 1.2 million employees and family members of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan. Shortly after being named CEO, Gawande said the initiative would aim to eliminate three kinds of waste in the health care system: administrative costs, high prices, and inappropriate use of health care services, as Zachary Tracer reported for Bloomberg News.
Last week, we got a clue about how Gawande might approach these three challenges when the initiative hired Dana Gelb Safran, Sc.D., from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Continue reading
Health Affairs held an October event in Sacramento on California’s health policy landscape (also available as a podcast).
Here are some highlights from the panelists, all of whom are excellent potential sources for stories about health care policy in California and around the nation: Continue reading
File photo: Jeff Porter/AHCJSeema Verma
During an event on Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said that there is a contingency plan if the courts were to strike down the Affordable Care Act, particularly the part that requires coverage of existing conditions.
AHCJ member Kimberly Leonard covered the remarks and reports that Verma declined to share details about the backup plan. Continue reading
The 2019 ACA enrollment season is getting off to a stronger start – more health plan participation in the federal exchange, lower premiums – than many had expected.
It still faces enormous stresses, with the elimination of the mandate penalty, and the availability of alternative health coverage options that may undermine the markets. But for now, the news is quite good. Continue reading