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ACA Facts: Essential Health Benefits

The Affordable Care Act ensures all health plans include a comprehensive set of services and items known as the "essential health benefits."



HHS Announces Formation of New Accountable Care Organizations by Health-care Providers

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today, doctors and health care providers have formed 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Medicare, ensuring as many as 4 million Medicare beneficiaries now have access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States.



NASUAD Releases New State Medicaid Expansion Tracker

This report from NASUAD summarizes state actions and activities around the implementation of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) optional Medicaid expansion. To monitor state trends and progress around this issue, NASUAD has drawn from a variety of sources to compile this First Edition of The State Medicaid Expansion Tracker. This information is expected to be updated monthly, as new governors take office, state legislative sessions convene, budgets are proposed, and decisions are made.



New Brief on State Trends and Innovations in Medicaid Long-Terms Services and Supports

This brief from the Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. highlights states' continued progress in rebalancing Medicaid LTSS options toward home- and community-based services; and developing and implementing managed LTSS programs to better integrate care. It also describes states' progress in improving quality of care for LTSS and the decision by some states to change program authority for LTSS services from 1915(c) waivers to comprehensive Section 1115(a) demonstration waivers.



ACA Policy Implementation: A Snapshot of Key Developments and What Lies Ahead

Health Reform GPS

Health Reform GPS published this policy brief that summarizes the major federal implementation matters that HHS has released or will release as the ACA reaches full implementation in 2014.



New Report Released by VR-RRTC on Potential Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Funding for Health-Related VR Services

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Vocational Rehabilitation (VR-RRTC), funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), recently released a report about the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act on funding for health-related VR services, including physical and mental restoration services, assistive technology devices and services, and personal assistance services. Recommendations are made for maximizing the use of funding sources other than VR funding to pay for the costs of health-related services and supports.



Kaiser Releases New Report on Impact of the ACA for People with Disabilities

The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured issued a new report on the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) impact on Medicaid eligibility for persons with disabilities. The report highlights changes in the way people can qualify for Medicaid benefits and explains the calculations used to determine eligibility based on income under the new law. It also contains useful information on how the law addresses accessibility and the application process.



CMS Issues Guidance on Modified Adjusted Gross Income Conversion

On December 28, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance to inform states about the provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for converting net income eligibility thresholds to equivalent modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) thresholds in the Medicaid program and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The guidance also includes the conversion methodology and process and the timeframes for executing the conversions.



Implementation Support for State Demonstrations to Integrate Care for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees

CMS has announced a funding opportunity for the 15 states that have received design contracts for demonstrations to integrate care for dually eligible enrollees.



Infgraphic: Health Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

How to get coverage beginning in 2014

The latest Visualizing Health Policy infographic is a flowchart illustrating the mechanisms by which people will get health coverage beginning in 2014.



New Infographic Illustrates How People will Receive Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

This month's Visualizing Health Policy provides a step-by-step guide through the options and requirements for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act beginning in 2014, including coverage through an employer, coverage through a health insurance exchange, and coverage through Medicaid.



CMS Guidance on the Medicaid Expansion

This week, CMS released an "FAQ" document to address some ongoing concerns with respect to the Medicaid expansion. In the guidance, CMS reinforces that there is no deadline by which states must decide if they want to expand Medicaid coverage to the optional eligibility group, and clarified that states electing to do so have the flexibility to drop this coverage later. The document also addresses concerns related to implementation of State-Based Exchanges, including what federal funding is available to states to help create and maintain one.



Kaiser Releases Briefs that Examine the Increase in Medicaid Physician Fees for Primary Care under Health Reform

Two new papers released by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured examine the level of Medicaid physician fees and the impact of a provision in the health reform law that will raise Medicaid fees for primary care to Medicare levels for many primary care doctors in 2013 and 2014, with federal funds.



Kaiser Releases New Brief which Reviews State Efforts to Pick a Benchmark Essential Health Benefit Plan

With states facing a December 26 deadline for recommending an insurance plan that will define the essential health benefits (EHBs) insurers must offer starting in 2014, a new brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights EHB benchmark plan selections from the 26 states plus the District of Columbia that have already beat the submission deadline.



Kaiser Releases New Briefs that Examine CMS Rules Governing Changes to Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Under ACA

Two new briefs from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured examine changes to Medicaid eligibility and enrollment rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and how such changes are expected to affect those covered by the program, including people with disabilities.

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