With last month’s Supreme Court ruling affirming that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay, advocates and decisionmakers can turn to building on the law’s success, such as closing the Medicaid gap, improving the value of care, and eliminating the “family glitch.” Another top priority in this next phase of health reform is making good on the promise of health care for all, regardless of immigration status. Last month, California, the state with the most undocumented immigrants, took a momentous leap in that direction.
With more than 40 percent of domestic weddings taking place in the summer months, wedding season gives enrollment assisters an opportunity to push the special enrollment period (SEP) for newlyweds. And the recent Supreme Court decision, allowing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, provides enrollment assisters with new opportunities to forge community partnerships around the marriage SEP.
Patrick Willard, Families USA’s Health Action Director, responds to the good news that Governor Bill Walker will take executive action to expand Medicaid in Alaska. Now, all eyes are on Utah to extend health coverage to its moderate- and low-income residents.
Earlier this month, health equity advocates received an unexpected surprise when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new county-level enrollment data by race and ethnicity from the 37 states that use the federal health insurance marketplace. This level of data had never before been made available to the public.
While Congress wrestles with budget reconciliation and takes another swipe at the Affordable Care Act, most state lawmakers are back at their day jobs and finished with legislative business for the year. The 2015 sessions produced a few highlights, and some lowlights, for health care advocates. Lawmakers continued to grapple with full implementation of the ACA, but some looked beyond the health care law to move their states toward a health reform 2.0 agenda. Below we note some of the significant work this year in state capitals.
Lack of access to dental care is a significant problem in American health care. Last week, USA Today reported that the number of adults seeking help in the emergency room for “long-delayed dental care” has doubled since 2000. This finding highlights data we released in May showing that dental care is one of the most persistent unmet health care needs for many adults.
Now that insurers’ proposed health insurance premium rates for 2016 have been made public by federal and state regulators, the rate review process—where the public and consumer groups can comment—is in full swing. Not surprisingly, the highest proposed rates are garnering the most attention from the media and others. This blog describes trends in these rate increases and explains why it’s important to look at proposed rates in context.
As of June 19, most insurers’ proposed premium rates for 2016 were posted on federal and state regulators’ websites (except for California’s rates, which will be posted in late July). Proposed rates must be posted for review if increases are 10 percent or more, but a few states post all proposed rates for review. With some insurers proposing rate increases of up to 40 percent, consumer and advocate participation in the rate review process this year is critical.
In the not-too-distant future, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell will be viewed as a significant turning point for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Simply stated, the ACA is not only the law of the land–it will remain the law of the land. And I believe that the Court’s decision foreshadows an end to the contentious and partisan fights about the ACA’s existence–and that, slowly but surely, a search for common purpose on health care will begin among conservatives and progressives, Republicans and Democrats.
When the Supreme Court sided with the government in King v. Burwell yesterday, it was a victory for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and, more importantly, for the millions of people who currently benefit from the law and the millions more who will now be able to benefit in years to come. But a close look at the ruling reveals that the dimensions of the King v. Burwell victory may be bigger than we had hoped for.