On November 7, 2018—the morning after Election Day—the Trump administration proposed an “Exchange Program Integrity” rule governing coverage provided in health insurance marketplaces. Some parts of the proposal appear useful. Some changes offer potential help to consumers but require changes. Others threaten to create serious harm. On January 8, 2019, Families USA filed comments about each portion of the proposed rule.
Families USA is encouraged to see oral health coming up early in the 116th Congress with Senator Cardin introducing S. 22, the Medicare Dental Benefit Act of 2019 earlier this week. This legislation serves as an important opportunity for Congress to take a major step to improve the oral health, overall well-being, and financial security of seniors and people with disabilities in this country. Families USA is proud to join our partners at Oral Health America, Justice in Aging, and the Center for Medicare Advocacy in a letter supporting the major provisions of this bill.
Oral health matters for seniors in rural California. This population faces major barriers to good oral health, including cost, lack of dental coverage, and limited access to providers. Without addressing these barriers, rural seniors' overall health is worse, and our health care system is paying the price. Our new factsheet explains these barriers that California’s rural seniors face and the solutions policy makers can take to address them.
Hundreds of Thousands of People Are Losing their Health Insurance Because of Trump Administration Policies
The Trump Administration has announced initial enrollment numbers for the federally-run Healthcare.gov exchange, which provides individual and small group coverage for the 39 states that do not operate their own state-based exchange. Enrollment was significantly lower than last year—a total of 8.45 million people enrolled representing a drop of 4.2 percent from 2017’s level of 8.82 million and an aggregate drop of over 8 percent from 2016’s level of 9.2 million. This represents a significant blow to the financial security and health of America’s families.
The ongoing effort to transform health care in the United States is an important opportunity to address racial, ethnic, and other health inequities directly and deliberately. A central pillar in delivery system and payment reform is promoting evidence-based care: incentivizing treatments with strong evidence of success and appropriate value, and disincentivizing those that are not supported by a strong evidence base.
Oral health matters for seniors in rural America. In rural areas, nearly one-fifth of residents are 65 and over. This population faces major barriers to good oral health, including cost, lack of dental coverage, and limited access to providers. Without addressing these barriers, rural seniors’ overall health is worse, and our health care system is paying the price. Our new factsheet explains rural seniors’ barriers to oral health and the solutions policymakers can take to address them.
UPDATE: 1/8/19 - Links to Families USA's comments on the proposed Program Integrity Rule are available here.
NCCI Holds its First Briefing – A Bipartisan Event with Experts from Families USA and the American Enterprise Institute
Three out of four uninsured Americans are eligible for coverage through state and federal health care programs, yet they remain unenrolled. More than a third of the uninsured (38 percent) are missing out on a chance to receive coverage that is essentially free: either Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), of qualified health plans with premiums that are fully covered by premium tax credits.
Charlie Alfero is the Executive Director of The Southwest Center for Health Innovation and the New Mexico Primary Care Training Consortium and a member of Families USA’s Health Equity Task Force for Delivery and Payment Transformation. We asked him why Health Action 2019: Fighting For America’s Families will be his fourth Health Action Conference.