Health Reform Hub

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8/6/2013

AARP unveils websites to help consumers navigate ObamaCare

AARP announced Monday that it has launched two websites - healthlawanswers.org and healthlawfacts.org - ahead of the enactment of the healthcare reform's major provisions. The group said the efforts are part of a wider campaign to educate consumers about the law, which it has supported in the past.

 
 

8/6/2013

WebMD launches online ObamaCare guide

The leading online health site WebMD has launched one of the most comprehensive consumer guides to ObamaCare available so far. WebMD on Tuesday announced its new "Health Care Reform Center," which guides users through the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how to purchase health insurance on the new exchanges. WebMD is part of a growing group of healthcare stakeholders working to educate the public before ObamaCare's major provisions take effect on Jan. 1.

 
 

8/2/2013

HHS Releases New Information To Show How the Affordable Care Act Benefits Americans

On July 29th, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new information showing how the Affordable Care Act benefits the Americans. According to HHS, over 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act. These savings average $1,061 per beneficiary in drug costs while a beneficiary is in the "donut hole" (a coverage gap currently built into Medicare Part D) that the law closes over time. HHS also announced that 16.5 million people with traditional Medicare took advantage of at least one free preventive service in the first six months of 2013.

 
 

8/2/2013

The Arc Releases A Guide For Non-Profit Employers On ACA

The Arc, an organization that advocates for and serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently released the guide, "The Affordable Care Act: What Non Profit Employers Need to Know," which explains the basic provisions of the law for employers. The publication provides an overview of what the ACA requires of employers, what penalties are imposed on large employers, an explanation about whether employers keep their current health insurance, how non-profits can apply for tax credits, and what additional provision apply to non-profits.

pdf File ARC ACA.pdf [download]
 
 

8/1/2013

New "Zooming In" Interactive Tool Provides Detailed Estimates of Potential Changes In Medicaid Enrollment and the Uninsured at the Local Level Under the Affordable Care Act

Website  from http://kff.org

A new online tool released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation provides detailed projections of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid enrollment and the uninsured in local communities across the nation. The tool is one of several interactive offerings on the Foundation's recently redesigned website that can help people understand the key elements of the health reform law, its implications and its implementation.

 
 

8/1/2013

Proposed Marketplace Integrity Guidelines Outlined

CMS has released a proposed rule outlining program integrity guidelines for the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) and premium stabilization programs. Through the Affordable Care Act, consumers and small businesses will have access to new Marketplaces where they can access quality, affordable private health insurance. Consumers in every state will be able to buy insurance from qualified health plans directly through these Marketplaces and may be eligible for tax credits to lower the cost of their health insurance. Many of the provisions in the proposed rule build on guidance previously issued to states and other key stakeholders. These policies offer clarity on the oversight of various premium stabilization and affordability programs, build on state options regarding the Small Business Health Options Program, and provide technical clarifications. www.Healthcare.gov is the official national website of the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Open enrollment in the Marketplace begins October 1, 2013, with coverage to begin January 1, 2014.

pdf File 2013-14540.pdf [download]
 
 

7/31/2013

Building State Capacity to Implement Integrated Care Programs for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees

The success of integrated care initiatives for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees will depend in large part on the skills and knowledge of state Medicaid staff. Expertise in Medicare policy; the ability to conduct robust managed care oversight, data analysis and reporting; and the development of new communication strategies will be critical to program implementation. This technical assistance brief, made possible through support from The SCAN Foundation, examines key areas where states will need to build their internal capacity as they pursue integrated care programs for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. Focus areas include: basic organizational capacity (leadership, staffing, and knowledge); contract development; data analysis and information systems; stakeholder communication; rate setting; and quality measurement.

pdf File Building State Capacity.pdf [download]
 
 

7/31/2013

Deciphering The Health Law's Subsidies For Premiums

Tax credits to help low- and moderate-income Americans buy health insurance will become available in January under the health law, when for the first time, most people will be required to have coverage or pay a fine. The process could be complicated for some consumers, but information about how the system will work may help.

 
 

7/31/2013

Developing Provider Networks for Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Programs: Considerations for States

States establishing MLTSS programs need to ensure that health plans' provider networks address the diverse needs of Medicaid's most vulnerable populations. This brief presents considerations for provider network development, reviews recent guidance, and offers examples of state practices for establishing MLTSS network adequacy standards.

pdf File Developing Network Adequacy for MLTSS FINAL 2 .pdf [download]
 
 

7/31/2013

Development of the Financial Alignment Demonstrations for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries: Perspectives from National and State Disability Stakeholders

Website  from http://kff.org

As part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, 26 states submitted proposals to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement demonstrations to integrate care and align financing for beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid; as of July 2013, six states have received approval from CMS to implement a demonstration, and 16 proposals remain pending review. Given the degree of interest in these demonstrations, we sought to identify common issues and potential solutions to inform other states as they develop and implement demonstrations. With an emphasis on illuminating the specific concerns of beneficiaries under age 65 and those who use long-term services and supports, we conducted a series of 26 structured interviews with national and state disability stakeholders from October 2012 through January 2013.

pdf File 8461-development-of-the-financial-alignment.pdf [download]
 
 

7/31/2013

Three State Paths to Improve Medicaid Managed Long-Term Care: Florida, New Jersey, and Virginia

Emerging MLTSS programs are shaped not only by a state's internal resources, but also by the state's experiences in interacting with long-term service and support providers, managed care plans, and beneficiaries. This brief looks at the MLTSS program design and implementation decisions made by three states to inform other states' planning. It also identifies how states' efforts in MLTSS pave the way for future coordination of Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

pdf File Three Paths to Medicaid MLTSS FINAL 2 .pdf [download]
 
 

7/24/2013

New Health Affairs Policy Brief: Health Insurance Exchanges and State Decisions

On October 1, 2013, if all goes as planned, state health exchanges will fire up their respective web portals and kick off open-enrollment season--as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase health insurance coverage that will take effect on January 1, 2014. A new Health Policy Brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides a primer on the exchanges and what lies ahead. It expands and updates points made in several previously released Health Policy Briefs.

 
 

7/24/2013

AARP PPI, NASUAD and HMA Releases a New Report on Long-Term Services and Supports

On July 16th, 2013, AARP Public Policy Institute, National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) and Health Management Associates (HMA) released At the Crossroads: Providing Long-Term Services and Supports at a Time of High Demand and Fiscal Constraint, a new report highlighting the challenges facing states in providing long-term services and supports (LTSS). Even as states begin to implement LTSS options in the Affordable Care Act that increase access to Medicaid home and community based services (HCBS), most states did not increase funding for non-Medicaid services including senior centers, information and referral, transportation and caregiver supports, such as those under the Older Americans Act. The report examines findings of the third annual survey of LTSS systems across 49 states and the District of Columbia, highlighting transformations and reforms underway, and trends across the country. The report found that more states are increasing participation in HCBS options within the Affordable Care Act as well as initiatives for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. At the same time, states are seeing increased demand for non-Medicaid services; for example, the caseload for adult protective services for victims of abuse or exploitation has increased in the last two years without increased funding in many states.

 
 

7/24/2013

GAO Testimony on the Status of CMS Efforts to Establish Exchanges

John E. Dicken of the Government Accountability office delivered this testimony on the status of CMS efforts to establish federally facilitated health insurance exchanges and the federal data services hub.

pdf File 655905.pdf [download]
 
 

7/24/2013

New Kaiser Analyses Examine the Impact of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid Under the ACA

Two new analyses released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) examine how decisions by states not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will blunt the law's effectiveness in reducing the uninsured population. As of today, 24 states are moving forward with the Medicaid expansion, 21 states are not and 6 states are still debating the matter.

 
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