Yesterday, in response to concerns about insurers pulling out of the ACA marketplaces and raising premiums, the federal government published proposed rules to stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets.

In a press release, Dr. Patrick Conway, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services acknowledged the changes are short term relief “while future reforms are being debated.” 

CSG South

Among the many concerns currently facing America's healthcare system, few are more significant, both medically and fiscally, than long-term care (LTC). Broadly defined as a range of services that support individuals who are limited in their ability to care for themselves, long-term care stands to become one of America's foremost healthcare challenges in the years ahead. With the continuing rise of U.S citizens 65 and over — statistically, the demographic most in need of LTC — states need to begin preparing for the growing pressures that will be placed on their budgets by the nation's aging population. This SLC Special Series Report explores the challenges long-term care poses for states in the SLC region. Subsequent reports will examine possibilities for managing long-term care and highlight actions that states in the SLC region have taken to tackle this important issue.

Kaiser Health News has created a special website to keep track of news about changes to the Affordable Care Act. KHN says it will provide analysis, explanation, investigation and data on its site called Repeal & Replace Watch. You can bookmark this on your browser.

A new study from the Commonwealth Fund finds that repeal of two major federal spending provisions of the Affordable Care Act, insurance premium tax credits and the expansion of Medicaid, would ultimately lead to the loss of 2.6 million jobs in 2019. The data, generated by researchers at George Washington, breaks down the impact of repeal for each state. California would lose the most jobs, 334,000 their multistate economic forecasting model suggests, and Wyoming the least with 4,000 jobs lost.

A new study out of Michigan concludes that the state’s Medicaid expansion is to the state’s financial advantage.

When the legislature approved the expansion in 2013, it required that Michigan achieve other health care savings and revenue to offset the state match required starting Jan. 1, 2017 – or the state would reverse its expansion.

CSG Midwest
An informal group of 20 to 24 lawmakers in Wisconsin will concentrate its efforts in 2017 on proposals to boost the state’s supply of rural health care workers and services. The Rural Wisconsin Initiative unveiled its legislative agenda during the latter part of 2016.

Three speakers provided a look at major health policy issues, with emphasis on state policy options available in 2017. Michael Williams discussed health equity and disparities and how they drive health care costs. Dania Palanker reviewed health insurance exchanges and provided data for the 2016 open enrollment period. She also looked at the major policy proposals being considered by the incoming Trump administration. Ameet Sarpatwari analyzed pharmaceutical drug pricing and state policy recommendations recently developed by a work...

The Medicaid Policy Academy provided attendees an opportunity to meet with federal government officials and other Medicaid experts to develop a deeper understanding of program rules and requirements. With the upcoming change of administration in Washington, D.C., speakers and attendees discussed how policy changes might impact states' Medicaid programs. 

Presentation slides and audios from the session are posted, as well as speaker biographies. 

In 2016, five states enacted legislation designed to mitigate a controversial health insurance procedure known as step therapy, which requires patients to try less expensive, often generic medications before being approved for costlier treatments. With the growing availability of generics step therapy, alongside prior authorization and benefit tiers, has emerged as a popular cost savings tool for private insurers, as well as Medicaid and Medicare programs.

Insurance companies and...

CSG Midwest
Starting in January, states that chose to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act will have to begin paying part of the associated costs, and three of the Midwest’s expansion states say they will rely at least in part on revenue from their taxes on health care providers.

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