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Tag: Health Insurance (page 1 of 6)

Three States Bar Issuers from Increasing Rates

Sean Kirschner

Sean is a Business Analyst at Softheon. His objective is to provide insight into the current state of the healthcare landscape through research on both business and policy. He is also responsible for assisting the research team through creating and maintaining research briefings on various industry topics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College.

Latest posts by Sean Kirschner (see all)

UPDATE: On October 26th, North Dakota’s insurance commissioner announced that Sanford Health Plan will return to ND’s individual exchange for 2018, but only in 5 counties. Sanford’s Executive Vice President, Kirk Zimmer stated that the move was due to the Trump administration’s decision to cut off insurer subsidies.

Though the start of the 2018 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is only a week away, there is unprecedented uncertainty around the Exchanges and federal funding established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite this, three states have decided to hold their ground and block issuers from increasing member premiums for 2018.  

With rumors that the White House was considering ending cost-sharing reduction payments, many health insurance carriers increased their 2018 premium rates to account for the loss of government funding. Since the official decision to end the payments on October 12, even more health plans have raised their rates through an informal offer by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), allowing carriers to adjust their premium rates right up until OEP 2018 on November 1st (1).  

While insurers in all 50 states, plus D.C., have requested the approval of rate hikes, the insurance commissioners of Minnesota, North Dakota, and Vermont have unilaterally declared that they will deny any such request by insurers participating in their exchanges. They reason that the effect would be too severe with such little time until OEP 2018 begins on November 1st, justifying that their purpose is to protect consumers though whatever measures they can take. 

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‘HELP’ May Have Arrived For ACA Exchanges

Jen Eyring

Jen Eyring

Communications Manager at Softheon
Jen Eyring is the Communications Manager at Softheon. Prior to this role, she focused on creating instructional documentation for Softheon’s five core solutions and their corresponding operating procedures. She has also acted as a Product Manager for our Foundry solution. Jen holds a BA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication from James Madison University and is working toward her MA in Strategic Communication at American University.
Jen Eyring

After failing to reach an agreement at the end of four senate committee hearings last month, Senators Lamar Alexander (R – Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash) have found common ground and announced a bipartisan deal ‘in principle’ yesterday.

The agreement reinstates the cost sharing reduction payments President Trump ended last week and increases flexibility for states. During a Rose Garden press conference yesterday, Trump called the deal a “short-term solution” that would last for a year or two.

“It’ll get us over this intermediate hump,” Trump said.

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President Trump Signs Executive Order on Health Care

Matt Cummings

Solutions Architect at Softheon
Matthew is a Solutions Architect at Softheon. He works closely with Product and Development teams to design products and solutions to help Health Plans and other entities to excel in the marketplace. He received his bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology and Business Management from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York.
What Happened?

President Trump on Thursday, signed an executive order directing the Departments of Treasury, Labor and HHS to consider loosening rules controlling the issuance of health coverage by groups and businesses as well as the duration of short-term that don’t currently meet ACA rules[1].

“With these actions, we are moving toward lower costs and more options in the health-care market…”, Trump said during the signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room in the White House.

Supporters of the executive order say that it will help to improve access, increase choices and lower costs for healthcare. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who worked closely with the President on the order called it, “The biggest free market reform of healthcare in a decade”.

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Graham-Cassidy: A Closer Look

Sean Kirschner

Sean is a Business Analyst at Softheon. His objective is to provide insight into the current state of the healthcare landscape through research on both business and policy. He is also responsible for assisting the research team through creating and maintaining research briefings on various industry topics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College.

Latest posts by Sean Kirschner (see all)

There is a major effort in Washington to push healthcare reform through before the end of the September.

The new bill drafted by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is appropriately known as the Graham-Cassidy bill. It is lauded by its sponsors as a proposal to return power to the states after the centralization of the ACA. Under the Graham-Cassidy bill, money made available for Medicaid Expansion effort and health plan subsidies would be pooled and allocated to states as block grants, which the states can then use to build their own health care plans. The block grants will be based on the number of individuals with incomes between 50-138% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) in the state, but this is only initially. Starting in 2024, enrollment levels will also be factored in to determine the level of funding available through the grants. Block grants are only provisioned through 2026, though, with nothing legislated to take their place after that year.

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Bipartisan Effort Concedes as Republicans Race a Ticking Clock

Jen Eyring

Jen Eyring

Communications Manager at Softheon
Jen Eyring is the Communications Manager at Softheon. Prior to this role, she focused on creating instructional documentation for Softheon’s five core solutions and their corresponding operating procedures. She has also acted as a Product Manager for our Foundry solution. Jen holds a BA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication from James Madison University and is working toward her MA in Strategic Communication at American University.
Jen Eyring

After four hearings and 20 testimonies hoping to find a bipartisan common ground to stabilize the individual health insurance market, an agreement could not be reached.

“During the last month, we have worked hard and in good faith, but have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats to put a bill in the Senate leaders’ hands that could be enacted,” said Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). 

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Senate Committee Seeking Bipartisan ‘HELP’ to Limit Premium Increases for 18M Americans Next Year

Jen Eyring

Jen Eyring

Communications Manager at Softheon
Jen Eyring is the Communications Manager at Softheon. Prior to this role, she focused on creating instructional documentation for Softheon’s five core solutions and their corresponding operating procedures. She has also acted as a Product Manager for our Foundry solution. Jen holds a BA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication from James Madison University and is working toward her MA in Strategic Communication at American University.
Jen Eyring

Premiums will go up 20%, the federal debt will go up to $194 billion over 10 years to pay for the higher premiums, and 5% of people will be living in bare counties after 5 years.

Those are the consequences of not passing a bill to “create a more personalized healthcare plan,” according to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).

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Senate Hearings Day 4: Senate Hears from Health Care Stakeholders

Jen Eyring

Jen Eyring

Communications Manager at Softheon
Jen Eyring is the Communications Manager at Softheon. Prior to this role, she focused on creating instructional documentation for Softheon’s five core solutions and their corresponding operating procedures. She has also acted as a Product Manager for our Foundry solution. Jen holds a BA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication from James Madison University and is working toward her MA in Strategic Communication at American University.
Jen Eyring

Opening the 4th and final Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) hearing, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) summed up the hearings so far as focused and bipartisan. 

“I think they’ve been refreshing for most of the members of the senate who are hungry for that sort of opportunity to see if we can work together to get a result,” Senator Alexander said.  

Today, the witnesses included 5 healthcare stakeholders:  Dr. Manny Sethi, President of Healthy Tennessee, Dr. Susan Turney, CEO of Marshfield Clinic Health System, Inc., Robert Ruiz-Moss, VP of Anthem’s Individual Market Segment, Christina Postolowski, Rocky Mountain Regional Director of Young Invincible, and Raymond Farmer, Director of South Carolina Department of Insurance.

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Senate Hearings Day 3: Advocates Shed Light on State Flexibility

Yvonne Villante
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Yvonne Villante

Director of Marketing at Softheon
Yvonne Villante is the Director of Marketing at Softheon. Before this, Yvonne held several roles within the organization including Senior Research Manager, Corporate Research Manager, and Marketing Research Analyst. She holds a MBA in healthcare administration from Ohio University and a BS in business management from SUNY Stony Brook. During her undergraduate studies, she graduated within the top 10% of her class.
Yvonne Villante
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The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) conducted its third hearing today, offering testimony of 5 advocates for state flexibility: Governor Michael O. Leavitt (R-Utah), Allison Leigh O’Toole, CEO at MNsure, Tarren Bragdon, CEO at the Foundation for Government Accountability, Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO at Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc., and Tammy Tomczyk, Senior Principal and Consulting Actuary at Oliver Wyman.

With extensive experience in helping states offer insurance and addressing concerns around rising costs and healthcare accessibility, each witness shed light into innovate ways of addressing concerns within the individual health insurance market.

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Senate Hearings Day 2: U.S. Governors Offer Recommendations

Yvonne Villante
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Yvonne Villante

Director of Marketing at Softheon
Yvonne Villante is the Director of Marketing at Softheon. Before this, Yvonne held several roles within the organization including Senior Research Manager, Corporate Research Manager, and Marketing Research Analyst. She holds a MBA in healthcare administration from Ohio University and a BS in business management from SUNY Stony Brook. During her undergraduate studies, she graduated within the top 10% of her class.
Yvonne Villante
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The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) kicked off their hearings on stabilizing the individual health insurance market on Wednesday. With the testimonials of 5 insurance commissioners,  it collectively suggested that resolving the market’s challenges would require added state flexibility via 1332 Waivers and the continuation of CSR payments.

During yesterday’s hearing (Day 2), members of the Committee heard from 5 Governors; Governor Steve Bullok (D-Mont.), Governor Charlie Baker (R-Mass), Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Col), and Governor Gary Herbert (R-Utah):

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Senate Hearings Day 1: State Insurance Commissioners Testify

Yvonne Villante
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Yvonne Villante

Director of Marketing at Softheon
Yvonne Villante is the Director of Marketing at Softheon. Before this, Yvonne held several roles within the organization including Senior Research Manager, Corporate Research Manager, and Marketing Research Analyst. She holds a MBA in healthcare administration from Ohio University and a BS in business management from SUNY Stony Brook. During her undergraduate studies, she graduated within the top 10% of her class.
Yvonne Villante
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The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions kicked off their hearings on stabilizing the individual health insurance market yesterday. These bipartisan discussions aim at strengthening our healthcare system for American families, or nearly 18 Million consumers. The first of four hearings, committee members heard from 5 insurance commissioners: Julie Mix McPeak (Tennessee), Mike Kreidler (Washington),  Lori Wing-Heier of Alaska, Teresa Miller (Pennsylvania), John Doak (Oklahoma):

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