Covered California could be the first exchange in the country to sell health insurance to undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The state marketplace is trying to use a Section 1332 “state innovation” waiver to obtain federal approval for a plan to offer coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. While the proposal does not allow undocumented people and DACA recipients to receive financial assistance to help them with the costs of insurance, it is an important step toward universal coverage.
Every day around the country, enrollment assisters help consumers get enrolled and stay enrolled in health coverage. This work provides assisters with a unique perspective on the consumer’s experience with the health care system. And it puts assisters in an ideal position to educate public officials about the enrollment process and to share their ideas for improving it.
Last Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule to implement key provisions of the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act. Passed with bipartisan support in 2015, MACRA represents is an important opportunity to improve the quality of care delivered through Medicare. Given the number of people who are enrolled in Medicare and the number of providers who see Medicare patients, these changes will have a significant impact throughout the entire health care system.
On Monday, the Obama administration issued sweeping new standards for health insurers that operate Medicaid managed care plans for the states. The new rules are a big deal in part because they affect so many people: There are more than 72 million people enrolled in Medicaid.
April is National Minority Health Month and this year’s theme, accelerating health equity, reminds us that the quickening pace of change in the health arena provides strategic opportunities to narrow the disparities gaps between people of color and our white friends and neighbors. This month we celebrate the huge coverage gains among immigrants, several state initiatives to remove barriers to immigrant coverage, and Georgia’s big step toward making health insurance provider directories accurate and useful.
Recent actions by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) represent an encouraging recognition–by one of the biggest payers of health care in the nation—that one-size-fits all payment reforms do not benefit everyone equally.
And they raise the question of whether some of these pay-for-performance programs should be adjusted to better address racial and ethnic health disparities.
After the close of each open enrollment session, enrollment assisters often debrief with each other to discuss what worked and what lessons they learned about successful enrollment. In several debrief meetings we joined recently around the country, discussion frequently touched on the increasing complexity of consumers’ needs and assisters’ growing interest in professional development.
As members of the enrollment team at Families USA, we were invited to help plan and facilitate some of these debrief meetings. Reflections about lessons learned from the last open enrollment were a crucial component of those meetings, but many also used this time to look ahead and plan for next year.
Earlier this week, CMS offered welcome clarification on special enrollment periods (SEP) for people in the coverage gap. It also issued updates about eligibility determination notices and hardship exemptions. We explain the updates below.
On Wednesday, CMS clarified the procedure for the special enrollment period (SEP) for consumers who move out of the “coverage gap.” People who are in the coverage gap live in states that have not expanded Medicaid.
By now the benefits of Medicaid expansion are well known. In addition to providing health coverage to millions of Americans, it has helped create new health care jobs, decrease hospitals’ spending on uncompensated care, and generate budget savings for states. But another benefit is often overlooked: Medicaid expansion can help improve the quality of health care and reduce costs throughout a state’s entire health care system, not just in Medicaid.
We know you have a lot going on, and there isn’t always time to read everything. That’s why we’ve rounded up five of our most popular blogs published between January and March of this year.