KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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For Insurance Commissioners On Front Lines, Subsidies Aren’t Just A Part Of A Political Game

In Washington, the subsidies for insurers have become a hot topic in the health care debates, but state insurance commissioners are more concerned about what they'll actually have to do if they're cut off. Without the federal subsidies, insurers would need to get the money — estimated at $7 billion to $10 billion next year — from another source. Meanwhile, in other marketplace news, Anthem is pulling out of Nevada's exchanges and paring back its offerings in Georgia, and Molina is closing a clinic in Michigan.

The New York Times: Facing Trump Subsidy Cuts, Health Insurance Officials Seek A Backup Plan
Congress is on vacation, but state insurance commissioners have no time off. They have spent the past three days debating what to do if President Trump stops subsidies paid to insurance companies on behalf of millions of low-income people. For administration officials and many in Congress, the subsidies are a political and legal issue in a fight over the future of the Affordable Care Act. But for state officials, gathered here at the summer meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the subsidies are a more immediate, practical concern. (Pear, 8/7)

Politico Pro: POLITICO Pro Q&A: Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak
Julie Mix McPeak has served as Tennessee insurance commissioner since 2011, when she was appointed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. Prior to that she was executive director of the Kentucky Office of Insurance. McPeak is also the president-elect of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which is holding its annual summer meeting in Philadelphia this week. (Demko, 8/7)

The Associated Press: Bipartisan Experts Urge Next Steps On Health Care Push
A group of conservative and liberal health policy experts is pressing the Trump administration and Congress to take steps to quickly shore up coverage under the Obama health care law, an idea that's been anathema to President Donald Trump and many congressional Republicans. The plan, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, includes continuing federal payments to insurers Trump has threatened to block. It says Trump and lawmakers should find a way for people to buy coverage in the handful of counties that may have no insurers next year in the federal and state insurance exchanges created by President Barack Obama's statute. (8/8)

Reuters: Anthem To Pare Back Obamacare Offerings In Nevada And Georgia
U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc said on Monday it will no longer offer Obamacare plans in Nevada's state exchange and will stop offering the plans in nearly half of Georgia's counties next year.The moves come after Republican senators last month failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform law, creating uncertainty over how the program providing health benefits to 20 million Americans will be funded and managed in 2018. (Erman and Berkrot, 8/7)

The Hill: Anthem To Exit ObamaCare Markets In Nevada
Anthem BlueCross BlueShield will completely exit Nevada’s ObamaCare exchange next year, the state's insurance commissioner said Monday. The company had previously said it would only offer plans in three urban counties in the state, leaving people in 14 counties without an insurer for 2018.  (Weixel, 8/7)

Georgia Health News: Blue Cross Agrees To Stay In Counties Where There’s No Other Exchange Option
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has agreed to offer coverage in the state insurance exchange in the 85 counties that will have no other health plans in 2018. The agreement was reached in negotiations with state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, after the insurer told the agency in June that it was planning to exit the entire individual insurance market in Georgia, both on and off the exchange. (Miller, 8/7)

Detroit Free Press: Molina Healthcare To Close Dearborn Clinic, Lay Off 120
Molina Healthcare plans to close its 24-hour Midwest Medical Center in downtown Dearborn on Sept. 30 and lay off all 120 people who work there. The clinic at 4700 Schaefer offers urgent care, primary care, physical therapy and other services, and serves Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as those with commercial insurance. The clinic is run by the publicly-traded company's subsidiary, Molina Medical Management. (Reindl, 8/7)

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