Mini-Med Plans, ACOs Among Health Law Hot Topics
News outlets are reporting on a range of health law policy issues, ranging from how mini-med plans are continuing to live on as a result of waivers and how states are mulling the design of health insurance exchanges to what might become of the regs for accountable care organizations and what's in the future for the individual mandate.
The Washington Post: Controversial Mini-Med Plans To Live On Through Waivers
Consumer advocates condemn them as the worst form of health insurance: "mini-med" plans that limit payouts to as low as $2,000 a year, leaving often unsuspecting customers to fend for themselves if they develop a costly and serious disease (Aizenman and Barnes, 3/27).
National Journal: State, Federal Officials Mull Differing Exchange Designs
State insurance commissioners worked on Friday to define how health insurance exchanges might look and operate, even as some governors remain undecided on whether or not they want to run one. Federal and state health officials alike took part in the meeting, part of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' annual conference in Austin, Texas. Many of the state executives are in the earliest stages of implementing the year-old reform law (DoBias, 3/25).
The Wall Street Journal: The Model Of The Future?
The 2010 health-care law encourages the development of accountable-care organizations as a way to improve care and reduce costs. So what exactly are accountable care organizations, anyway? (Johnson, 3/28).
Kaiser Health News: Administration Delaying Some Rules For Appealing Health Insurance Denials
The Obama administration is delaying until next January its enforcement of some new rules designed to protect patients who appeal insurers' decisions to deny or reduce health care benefits (Jaffe, 3/25).
National Journal: New Health Regs In Doubt Before They Are Even Out
This could be the week the federal government releases delayed regulations for a major piece of the health care law, which aims to bring down health costs by grouping together doctors, nurses, nursing homes and other providers and holding them accountable for the health of their patients. But while new approaches to care have attracted significant attention from these providers, some experts are skeptical about how successful the plans can be (McCarthy, 3/27).
The Hill: New Report Presents Alternatives To Health Reform's Individual Mandate
Health care experts have proposed an array of alternatives to the reform law's individual mandate in case it gets repealed or struck down by the Supreme Court. A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report outlines some of the most prevalent ideas. The report was requested last year by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a centrist Democrat who has shown an interest in finding a way around the unpopular mandate while retaining the law's insurance reforms, such as the requirement that health plans cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions (Pecquet, 3/25).