Tag Archives: hhs

HHS names first 10 drugs for price negotiations
under the Inflation Reduction Act

The first 10 medications that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are negotiating prices for under Medicare this year. Chart by HHS

The Biden administration named the first 10 prescription drugs on Tuesday that will undergo Medicare price negotiations starting this year. This story is only the first part of what will be a continuing legal and political saga in the coming years.

One result of the historic announcement is that the government and taxpayers are expected to save $98.5 billion over the next decade, as Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Rebecca Robbins reported for The New York Times. For at least 30 years, federal officials have tried and failed to control rising drug prices, as we reported earlier this month.

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Proposed rules would protect consumers
from junk insurance plans, surprise bills and medical debt

how junk insurance compares to traditional

Infographic created by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in January 2022. Accessed July 14, 2023. Reprinted with permission

Junk insurance plans that don’t meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act are one of the biggest holes in the patchwork that is the U.S. health insurance system. These plans are typically short-term policies that often discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and aren’t required to provide coverage for basic services like maternity care, prescription medications and more, according to Aimed Alliance.

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How to cover the case that could kill patients’ access
to no-cost preventive services


Even before the Affordable Care Act became fully effective in 2014, more than 94% of Americans buying contraceptives were paying some amount out-of-pocket. That dropped to 10% by 2018, according to a May 2023 KFF report. Accessed July 5, 2023. Image courtesy KFF, reprinted with permission

A key provision of the Affordable Care Act is in jeopardy in the case of Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 

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CMS expands popular home and community-based program

Photo by SHVETS production via pexels.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid is funding five additional states and territories to expand access to home and community-based services through Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program.

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3 reasons it’s significant that the percentage of uninsured Americans hit an all-time low

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2021–2022. Cohen RA and Cha AE. Health insurance coverage: Early release of quarterly estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January 2021–March 2022. National Center for Health Statistics. July 2022.

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.

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