2018 has been a year of opportunity when it comes to state legislation to address the high and rising prices of prescription drugs. Families USA has identified some of the 2018 state legislative sessions’ biggest victories on the issue of prescription drug costs, along with significant legislation considered in the 2018 session that may be on the agenda again in 2019.
Many state legislatures are passing the midpoint for 2018 sessions, and trends are emerging in their efforts to tackle health care affordability and coverage. States are also reacting to federal activity around Medicaid and private market coverage including the repeal of the individual mandate. Below are some of the noteworthy state health legislative measures already moving this year.
To protect their residents, some states are considering using their own income tax systems to replace the federal government’s enforcement of the individual mandate. But another approach under consideration in Maryland would both prevent the harm forecast by CBO while taking new steps to insure families who would otherwise remain without coverage.
Not only would Maryland’s approach increase coverage, newly insured young and healthy residents would improve the overall risk pool, stabilizing markets and lowering premiums for numerous insured residents who buy individual coverage.
With a new president and Congress, the health care gains made throughout the last six years face their greatest threat yet. Congress has voted more than 60 times to roll back the historic progress that has been made to expand health coverage to millions of people in this country and to improve coverage for those who already had it. These proposed changes will put the health—and lives—of countless Marylanders at risk. Here’s what Maryland stands to lose if the new president and Congress move forward to upend our health care system:
When people leave prison or jail, helping them get health care is critical to ensuring they reenter their communities as seamlessly as possible. To help connect this population to health coverage, both Maryland and New York are proposing innovative ideas that have not been pursued in any other state.
When health plans design their provider networks, they need to ensure that these networks are adequate and provide meaningful access to care. The Affordable Care Act established the first-ever federal rights guaranteeing private insurance consumers access to adequate networks.
In most states, the health care sector is among the industry sectors with the largest employment. Health care jobs tend to pay more than a state’s median wages, and growth in this sector can have a positive economic effect on other areas of a state’s economy. Many organizations, ours included, have written about the effects of Medicaid expansion on a state’s economy. Recently, Missouri (a state that has not yet expanded Medicaid) compared its employment growth in the health care sector to that of select Medicaid expansion states.
Open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace begins this November. As a result, health insurers are filing their proposed health insurance premium rates for 2015. To examine how rates may change for consumers buying policies in 2015, we reviewed filings and news reports from 12 states where proposed rates have received media attention. For each state, we looked at overall proposed premium rate changes, which are an average for each insurer. A consumer’s actual premium increase or decrease may be higher or lower than the average depending on age, location, and plan choice.
Explains the Qualified Individual (QI) program and provides a 50-state look at how people benefit, including how many people get help and how much money QI puts in their pockets.
This 50-state infographic series features state-specific data on how many people will be able to receive financial assistance for health insurance.