Among the many significant parts of the Affordable Care Act, one of the most important for consumers is the requirement that health insurers cover preventive-care services at no cost to patients. That provision is facing a significant legal challenge in a Texas court that could take months or years to resolve, according to legal experts.
By signing the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on Tuesday, August 16, President Biden made history by continuing a 12-year trend to reduce the number of nonelderly Americans without health insurance.
Millions of older adults will soon benefit from lower prescription drug prices and a cap on out-of-pocket costs thanks to landmark legislation signed into law by President Biden today. Continue reading
The percentage of Americans who lack health insurance hit an all-time low of 8% in the first quarter of this year, reflecting an increase of 5.2 million people who gained coverage since 2020, according to a report by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released on Tuesday.
Using data from the National Health Interview Survey and the American Community Survey, the report from the HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Education (ASPE) shows the effect of better subsidies for health insurance that consumers buy on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, increased federal efforts to encourage the uninsured to enroll, the continuous enrollment provisions in the federal-and-state Medicaid program and recent decisions in several states to increase enrollment in Medicaid, HHS said in a press release.
Since 2019, seven states have expanded enrollment in the federal-and-state funded Medicaid program, according to Louise Norris at HealthInsurance.org. Those states are: Virginia and Maine in 2019; Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska in 2020; and Oklahoma and Missouri last year, she wrote.
The HHS announcement is significant for three reasons. First, the all-time low 8% rate means that about 26.4 million people lack health insurance, down from 48 million in 2010, according to an ASPE report last year. Second, the report includes a table showing changes in the uninsured rates in each state for low-income adults ages 18 to 64 from 2018 to 2020. In 18 states (15 of which expanded Medicaid), the uninsured rates for this population dropped in those years.
Amid issuing some of the most significant rulings this century, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) also decided on two cases where certain hospitals challenged federal decisions that cost them money.
Hospitals scored one win and one loss in these cases. Both cases involved Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) policies created under Republican presidents that the Biden administration sought to defend.
In Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation, the Supreme Court split 5-4 in a June 24 decision about a calculation used to decide which hospitals qualify for extra pay for serving many people with low incomes. The Supreme Court found in favor of HHS in this case, disappointing hospital groups.
On June 15 in the American Hospital Association (AHA) v. Becerra case, the Court said in a unanimous decision that HHS erred in the administrative procedures in cutting reimbursement on certain drugs. In this case, the Biden administration had defended a Trump administration bid to compel hospitals to share certain savings they get on medicines with Medicare and people enrolled in the program.