Surprise billing, also called surprise out-of-network balance billing, is a common problem when, through no fault of their own, families receive medical treatment from an out-of-network provider. The surprise comes in the form of doctor bills for the difference between what a provider charges and what the insurer pays that provider. Congress is currently considering legislation to address this problem for families all over the country. This piece describes the legislation under consideration in Congress and Families USA’s recommendations for a Congressional fix to this problem.
This week, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), Families USA and other coalition members submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing concern with the proposed rule, “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science,” which would limit the use of critical research in EPA decision-making. We believe this rule would have the effect of erecting barriers to science-based decisions in the regulatory process, and could remove consideration of public health studies that might otherwise improve health outcomes of children with asthma.
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a massive public health emergency facing the United States, costing tens of thousands of lives per year and touching every community. Over the past few months, Congress has prioritized addressing this crisis with hearings and legislation aimed at the opioids crisis in particular.
Earlier this week, Maryland and Virginia insurers filed proposed individual market premiums for 2019. Over the coming weeks and months, insurers in the other 48 states and DC will announce proposed premiums. In Maryland and Virginia, many insurers are asking for incredibly large premium increases. In Maryland, average requested rate increases are 30 percent over 2018. In Virginia, proposed premiums are rising more than 15 percent.
Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new budget baseline for 2018 to 2028. The baseline report shows a significant increase in projected budget deficits compared to the 2017 baseline.
Earlier this week, the Trump Administration released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2019. This is the president’s first full budget proposal since taking office and it outlines the administration’s vision for the future. Although the budget proposal is non-binding and many elements need congressional approval for enactment, the administration can implement some of these policies on its own, through regulations, executive orders, and guidance. This is an eye-opening and chilling road map for where the administration wants to take health care for families and children.
Yesterday marked the 100th day since Congress let funding lapse for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a critical source of health coverage for many families. Covering 9 million children nationwide, CHIP offers affordable insurance with services particularly geared to the unique health and developmental needs of children.
Happy 2018! We took a break over the holidays to restore ourselves and connect with family and community and hope you did, too. Health care advocates deserved time to celebrate and reflect after achieving monumental success in preventing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and drastic cuts to Medicaid in 2017.
At least for the next few months, Congress has shelved its attempts to take health insurance away from tens of millions of people through severe and partisan cuts to the ACA and Medicaid. This extraordinary result is a tribute to consumers and advocates who raised their voices all across the country, in phone calls to Senate and House offices, town-hall meetings, letters to the editor, rallies, and more.
This accomplishment is worth celebrating, but the fight continues. Vital health care priorities are currently up for grabs, in five main areas.
Congress is back from summer vacation and has little time to waste on a packed September agenda. Legislative items on its plate this month include: passing a government funding bill and disaster relief; extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other key health programs; addressing the debt ceiling; and pivoting to tax reform.
Additionally, key Republicans and Democrats have promised to come together to address affordability and stability in the marketplace. It’s going to be a very busy month.