A year from now, consumers shopping for insurance on HealthCare.gov may be happy with some new plan choices and better protections for 2017. Earlier this month, the federal government released new proposed requirements for plans sold on the health insurance marketplaces. We applaud the government for encouraging insurers to sell “standardized plan” designs that cover more health care services before consumers meet their deductibles. But we urge the government to go further.
In horse racing, it is not a good idea to change jockeys when you have a winner. That is why Governor–elect Matt Bevin should not rush into a decision on Kentucky’s winning approach to health coverage. It is not just the economic case that the new governor should consider. Bevin must grapple with the impact an upheaval in the health care system would have on the state’s low-income workers and their families.
Last month, Congress and President Obama worked out a budget deal that provides relief from the sequester caps, raises the debt ceiling, and prevents a steep scheduled rise in Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles. Despite this welcome show of bipartisanship, the remainder of this legislative session will likely include continued attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and funding for Planned Parenthood.
A few years ago, Audrey Chabot didn’t know whether she would live to celebrate another Thanksgiving with her family. This self-employed pastry chef said she was so sick that she felt like she was “at death’s door.” But this year, as the Chabot family gathers for their Thanksgiving dinner in Maumee, Ohio, they’ll be thanking the Affordable Care Act that their matriarch has a seat at the table.
Due to high deductibles in health plans, many insured consumers still have trouble being able to afford the health care they need. Some forward-looking health plans are taking steps to make sure their members can afford care to manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.
Great news out of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting health insurance for children. Based on analysis of data from 50 states, they found that the rate of children without health insurance has plummeted to a new record low.
As their Executive Director Joan Alker explained in her blog, the new report attributes this historic drop in the rate of uninsured children in large part to the ACA, “which for kids was building on more than a decade of success by Medicaid and CHIP working together.”
Yesterday, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) introduced the End Surprise Billing Act, legislation to protect health care consumers from surprise medical bills. Families USA is thrilled to endorse this legislation—we’re encouraged that Representative Doggett, along with more than 20 cosponsors, is proposing to address a common problem that affects people across the country.
In November, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the organization composed of insurance regulators from every state in the nation, will finalize a model law to help states ensure that consumers can get access to the right health care, at the right time, without unreasonable delay. Dubbed the Network Adequacy Model Act, this draft bill is designed to be used by any state to enact provider access standards for private health insurance plans.
Accurate health plan provider directories are critical to ensuring that coverage works for consumers. Health plans and policymakers can take steps to reduce the prevalence of inaccuracies in provider directories.