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House Bill Would Weaken a Beneficial Health Reform Requirement

September 18, 2012

Nearly 13 million people recently received more than $1 billion in rebates on their health insurance premiums due to a health reform provision known as the “80/20 rule” or the “medical-loss ratio” standard.  The rule requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent (or 85 percent in the case of large employer coverage) of what they collect in premiums on medical care and improving...

Defunding State Health Insurance Exchanges Would Slow Health Reform

April 24, 2012

The House voted almost a year ago to undercut the Affordable Care Act by repealing its grants to help states set up “exchanges,” the new marketplaces that will allow individuals and small businesses to choose among a number of private health insurance plans.  (The measure didn’t go anywhere in the Senate.)

Here we go again.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is preparing to...

New Health Exchange Rules Show Important Improvements

March 13, 2012

Health reform took a major step forward this week, as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rules detailing the standards for the health insurance exchanges that the Affordable Care Act calls for.

These competitive marketplaces are a centerpiece of health reform and will give individuals...

Will Insurers Get Too Much Leeway to Set Benefits Under Health Reform?

February 10, 2012

All too often, Americans with private health coverage discover their policy has major holes at exactly the wrong time — when the treatment they need is not covered.

To ensure that people have access to comprehensive coverage, the health reform law (Affordable Care Act, or ACA) calls for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a set of “essential health benefits”...

House Bill to Defund Insurance Exchanges Would Lead to Half a Million More Uninsured in 2015

May 2, 2011

The House is expected to vote this week on yet another bill to undermine health reform implementation. H.R. 1213 would repeal the law’s grants for states to fully fund their work setting up health insurance marketplaces or “exchanges,” which are scheduled to be up and running by January 1, 2014. As a result, fewer people would get help buying insurance through the exchanges and 500,000 more people would be uninsured in 2015, according to a new Congressional Budget Office analysis.

Mississippi’s Medicaid Roadblock

April 21, 2011

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour told the Boston Globe this week that requiring low-income people to travel to a state office for a face-to-face interview in order to qualify for Medicaid — and return each year for another interview to retain their coverage — holds down costs and keeps ineligible people off the program. The reality, as we explained in a 2009 report, is that Mississippi’s requirement keeps many eligible people off of Medicaid and likely raises administrative costs.

An Ounce of Prevention

July 15, 2010

Millions of Americans will soon be able to receive preventive health care services free of charge under rules the White House issued yesterday to help implement the health reform law. The new rules will likely mean fewer unnecessary deaths from diseases like cancer and diabetes, reduced spending on costly and avoidable illnesses, and a healthier population overall.

Now Graduates Can Keep the Coverage as Well as the Gown

June 10, 2010

One of the first pieces of the new health reform law to take effect will start helping young adults this fall, and it could significantly improve coverage among a group that makes up a disproportionate share of the nation’s uninsured.