Sep 20, 2012
In addition to questions about costs from the health law’s Medicaid expansion, states are also wrestling with issues related to the creation of health exchanges and questions regarding essential benefits.
The Associated Press: Daniels’ Health Care Team Says Answers Pending
Gov. Mitch Daniels’ team of federal health care overhaul leaders told state lawmakers Wednesday that even without clear answers on the new law, it will cost the state hundreds of millions more in the coming years. A new report this week assumed that if Medicaid isn’t expanded, Indiana would still pay a combined $612 million over the next seven years as more residents who qualify for the program come out of the “woodwork” because of the health care law (LoBianco, 9/19).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Virginia’s Top Health Official To Discuss Federal Health Care Overhaul
Virginia’s top health official will discuss the federal health care overhaul that was upheld over the summer and tell legislators what it will mean for Virginia. Virginia Secretary of Health & Human Resources Bill Hazel will address the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday (9/20).
The Lund Report: Tribal Members Given Assurances About Health Insurance Exchange
Once the health insurance exchange gets up and running next October, the 30,000 tribal members likely to participate won’t have to worry about their rights being violated, according to Rocky King, executive director. “The intent is for insurers – qualified health plans – to have contracts with tribal clinics throughout the state so people can get services, and I’ve not heard of any major barriers,” he said (Lund-Muzikant, 9/20).
Minnesota Post: Minnesota’s Health-Insurance-Exchange Planners Change Agencies
Minnesota’s fledgling health insurance exchange has quickly outgrown its first home. In a letter to legislative leaders Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton announced the exchange would move from the auspices of the Department of Commerce to Minnesota Management and Budget, an agency with experience leading multi-departmental projects. The move, though, also is aimed at removing the exchange from a potential conflict of interest within the Commerce Department — an agency that, with the exchange, would have both administered and regulated health insurance (Nord, 9/19).
CQ HealthBeat: No Sign Of Essential Benefits Proposal, But Some Say States Can Progress Anyway
Despite indications that it might be out by now, a proposed rule setting minimum standards for the benefits that insurers must provide under the health care law has yet to emerge – and the Obama administration may be skittish about releasing it before the approaching election. Insurers, states and health care law supporters all say that with enrollment in insurance exchanges set to begin in a little more than a year, that having a proposed rule is key. Insurers have to be able to craft the benefit packages they will offer in the exchanges, among many other tasks they must accomplish to prepare for the exchanges, which will begin to operate in 2014 (Reichard, 9/19).
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