Mich. Gov. Urged To Set Up Exchange By Executive Order; Oregon Plans Campaign To Urge People To Buy Insurance
The health law's insurance exchanges make news in Michigan, where the governor won't get House approval to start work on the marketplace, and in Oregon, where the exchange board eyes a communication campaign to help insure people.
The Associated Press/CBS News: Michigan House Won't Take Up Health Exchange
A rift among Michigan's Republican lawmakers means Gov. Rick Snyder won't get the House approval he wants Wednesday to start work on a website for purchasing health insurance that's required under the federal health care law. House Speaker Jase Bolger's spokesman, Ari Adler, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Republican caucus remains divided and won't be ready to act on the health insurance exchange when lawmakers return Wednesday after a five-week break (7/18).
Detroit Free Press: Michigan Health Reform Group Wants Gov. Rick Snyder To Issue Executive Order
A health care reform organization Wednesday called on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to issue an executive order to create a state health insurance exchange, one day after a top Republican leader said the state needs more time to set up the program. Michigan Consumers for Healthcare, a Lansing nonprofit with 155 member groups, issued a statement encouraging Snyder to give his own go-ahead for an exchange -- a largely Web-based program for comparing and buying insurance. "The delay of health exchange legislation that has been created by needless obstruction by a handful of misguided politicians has put Michigan consumers in a weak position with respect to establishing a state-based health exchange," its statement said (Anstett, 7/19).
The Lund Report: Health Insurance Exchange Board Hammers Out Choice, Communication Issue
The Health Insurance Exchange Board intends to launch an aggressive communication campaign next summer and encourage people to purchase insurance so they can avoid paying a penalty starting in January 2014 when the Affordable Care Act kicks in. Each insurer will be limited to three health plan options in the individual and small group market, which should avoid confusion, Rocky King, executive director, told the exchange board last week. Massachusetts learned that lesson the hard way, he said, and ended up dropping plans after implementing a statewide insurance mandate (McCurdy, 7/18).
Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Latinos Could Benefit Most From Health Law
Latinos, who are uninsured at disproportionately high rates in Colorado, could gain the most as health reform takes hold. That’s what happened in Massachusetts, which in 2006 became the first state in the nation to require health coverage for all individuals and to implement a health insurance exchange. … In Colorado, about one-third of Hispanics are uninsured, according to the Colorado Health Access Survey’s (CHAS) latest results from 2011. The survey found that Hispanics were more likely to be uninsured than Anglos or African Americans. ... About 21 percent of Colorado’s 5.1 million people are Latino, according to U.S. Census data (McCrimmon, 7/18).
Meanwhile, ACOs take shape in various state markets --
Modern Healthcare: Cigna Announces New ACO Agreements
Cigna has announced new accountable care initiatives in several states. In California, the agreement with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, an affiliate of Sutter Health, will include as many as 21,000 patients. Cigna's agreement with New West Physicians in Denver will cover about 7,800 patients, according to a news release from the Bloomfield, Conn.-based insurer (Evans, 7/18).
Modern Healthcare: N.C. Blues, Wilmington Health Partner For ACO
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said it has formed an accountable care organization with Wilmington Health, a multispecialty physician group practice in southeastern North Carolina. The Chapel Hill, N.C.-based insurer said in a news release that the ACO's development will include the launch of a new oncology program that will aim to improve outcomes by ensuring that patients receive treatments that follow evidence-based research (Lee, 7/18).