Obama Adm. Makes Adjustments To Offset Insurers’ Health Law Losses
The Los Angeles Times reports that this move was included in a bulky set of regulations issued last week and comes as part of an effort to minimize next year's expected premium rate increases. Also in the news, the findings of a survey of emergency room physicians about how the overhaul has impacted patient volume in the E.R.
Los Angeles Times: Federal Funds Earmarked To Offset Affordable Care Act Insurer Losses
The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature health care law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money. The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall's congressional elections (Levey, 5/21).
McClatchy: Insurers, Regulators Prepare To Negotiate 2015 Health Coverage Costs
With the 2014 enrollment for individual marketplace coverage under the health care law now in the books, consumers, stakeholders and insurers have turned their attention to the cost of coverage in 2015. While next year’s sign-up period doesn’t begin until Nov. 15, most marketplace insurers will submit their 2015 rate proposals to state and federal regulators in coming weeks, using just a few months of medical claims from new enrollees as their guide. It’s a bit of a guessing game, but they’re accustomed to it (Pugh, 5/20).
The Wall Street Journal: ER Visits Rise Despite Law
Early evidence suggests that emergency rooms have become busier since the Affordable Care Act expanded insurance coverage this year, despite the law's goal of reducing unnecessary care in ERs. Almost half of ER doctors say they are seeing more patients since key provisions of the health law took effect Jan. 1, while more than a quarter say their patient volume has remained the same, according to a survey to be released Wednesday by the American College of Emergency Physicians (Armour and Radnofsky, 5/21).
Also in the news, a report about the intersection between the health law and CHIP --
Stateline: ACA And The Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was enacted in 1997 to extend health coverage to children in poor families with modest incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act now offers many of those same families federal subsidies through the health insurance exchanges, calling into question whether the program should be continued over the long term. CHIP helped lower the uninsured rate among low-income American children from 25 percent in 1997 to 13 percent in 2012, and the program has strong bipartisan support at the state and federal level. Still, some states -- particularly those that have opted to expand Medicaid to more low-income adults -- may decide that families would be better served by enrolling everyone in the same insurance plan. Following is a primer on CHIP and its evolving role under the ACA (Vestal, 5/21).