Both a call to action and a roadmap for progress, Families USA’s latest report, Health Reform 2.0 lays out a path for securing high-quality, affordable health care to all Americans—regardless of income, age, race, or ethnicity—and for achieving the “Triple Aim”: improving health, enhancing quality of care, and reducing health care costs.
Each month, we weigh in on selected news stories and trending debates that are shaping the direction of health care policy.
The start of the second open enrollment period is less than 50 days away. Like many of you, I’ve been finding myself increasingly caught up in the whirlwind of activity around preparations for the new enrollment season—ensuring that America’s working families have the information and resources they need to get covered and stay covered.
The Obama administration announced on Monday that 115,000 consumers will lose their health coverage under the Affordable Care Act on October 1 because they did not submit the proper paperwork proving their legal immigration or citizenship status.
An additional 363,000 consumers may see their financial assistance affected because they did not accurately report their income. More than eight in 10 people who applied for health coverage in the federally facilitated marketplace qualified to receive this financial assistance (also known as premium tax credits or premium subsidies).
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) improved insurance affordability and access for all Americans, including those eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, and private coverage offered through the health insurance marketplace. It strengthened Medicare in many ways — by closing the Part D prescription drug doughnut hole, offering free preventive services, and extending the life of the Medicare trust fund. However, the ACA’s improvements to Medicaid and private market insurance highlight longstanding shortfalls in programs that assist low-income Medicare beneficiaries with their health care costs.
Recently media outlets have reported that the government is having trouble verifying the income information of as many as 2 million people enrolled in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. As a result, they say, consumers may be getting the wrong level of tax subsidy to help them pay monthly premiums. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have characterized these discrepancies in income data as yet another flaw in the new health law.
As the 2014 college graduation season draws to a close, young adults are saying goodbye to their alma maters and entering the working world. Many face the challenge of securing their first full-time job at a time when the economy is uncertain and jobs are scarce. The vast majority of recent graduates—racial and ethnic minorities in particular—start their working lives under the shadow of significant educational debt. As if that weren’t enough, many of these former students also face losing the health insurance that they purchased through their college or university.
It is important that recent graduates understand that the Affordable Care Act gives young adults affordable options for securing coverage—including access to the financial help available through the health insurance marketplace.
Every year at tax time, more than 2 million married taxpayers file returns separately from their spouse. Usually, consumers who are legally married are required to file a joint tax return with their spouse in order to receive financial assistance to lower the cost of buying health insurance through the marketplace. However, for some taxpayers, such as survivors of domestic violence, filing taxes jointly with a spouse may not be an option, as getting in contact with a spouse may be traumatic, dangerous, or prohibited by a restraining order.
Accelerating the Affordable Care Act’s Enrollment Momentum: 10 Recommendations for Future Enrollment Periods
Building on lessons learned during the first enrollment period, this report identifies 10 key steps that HHS and state marketplaces can take to significantly increase the number of people who enroll in health insurance during the next enrollment period.
On March 5, the Department of the Treasury and IRS issued final rules on how employers report their employees’ health insurance. This was the last of a series of rules needed for implementing the requirement that large employers provide health insurance to their workers, or pay a penalty if they do not.
Enrollment workers wear many hats, but one of the most important aspects of their job is helping consumers choose a plan that meets both their financial and health care needs. With all the different variables involved, it can be a daunting task. To help, our Enrollment Assister Network held a webinar to discuss how to help consumers understand and compare health plans.