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 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
Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts announced this week that it is taking the radical step of paying to keep patients out of the hospital.
In a partnership with South Shore Health System in Weymouth, Mass., BCBSM will change the financial reward system so that it will tie payments to health system to its success in collaborating with physicians to improve quality, patient outcomes and costs for the patients they physicians and health system. Under BCBSM’s Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), the health insurer will reward the health system and physicians for their success in doing so, the two parties said in an Oct. 30 news release. Continue reading
We earlier told you about one lawsuit that aims to take down the ACA – or at least wipe out the law’s most popular provisions. A ruling could come at any time. The judge in oral argument seemed quite sympathetic to the conservative states bringing suit, but we won’t know for sure until his ruling, which likely will be appealed.
The question is what will happen if the court does strike all or part of the law, especially with open enrollment beginning Nov. 1 (assuming that decision is not stayed pending appeal). Continue reading
In my most recent post, I recapped what Georgetown University’s Sabrina Corlette, who is also a former Senate health policy aide, told us on an AHCJ webcast about association health plans. This post looks at the second part of the webinar, about short term limited duration plans. Both are options expanded by the Trump administration that may undermine the ACA markets. You can see her slides and listen to the webcast here.
It is worth nothing that health insurance remains very expensive for people who are trying to buy coverage on the individual market who do not quality for income-related subsidies in the ACA exchanges. Continue reading
The Obamacare wars have re-ignited, thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Department of Justice, and a surprising assault on the most popular part of the Affordable Care Act: the protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
A group of GOP state attorney generals, with Texas and Wisconsin in the lead, had filed in federal court what was generally regarded as a long-shot lawsuit to have the entire ACA scrapped. Continue reading