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Health Reform Highlights

Welcome to KidsWell’s Health Reform Highlights! This page is updated weekly with the latest health care reform activity across the nation!

 

This website provides the most up-to-date, comprehensive information on children's coverage and healthcare reform implementation in all fifty states and nationwide.

 

To find out more about what’s happening in each state, click on State Spotlight. Go to Federal Focus for federal health care reform news and national children’s health insurance coverage data. Check out the National Snapshot maps to get fifty state comparison maps of major health reform news and trends. Finally, search the Health Reform Hub, which has over 4,000 state and federal health care reform and children’s coverage news entries!

 

After three and a half busy years, the KidsWell Weekly Update’s health care reform tracking effort is winding down. September 30th  will be our last weekly newsletter. It has been a pleasure monitoring state and federal health care reform implementation activity on behalf of Atlantic Philanthropies and our loyal readers. If you are looking for ongoing weekly health care reform updates we hope you will visit www.kidswellcampaign.org and sign up for our national KidsWell partners’ newsletters!


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Implementation and Opposition

  • California: Governor Signed Dental Plan Transparency Bill

    Governor Brown (D) signed AB 1962, which requires dental insurers to disclose the amount of premium revenue that is spent on patient care. Sponsored by the California Dental Association, the bill will require dental insurers to report their financial data to the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance by September 30th each year.
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  • Colorado: Division of Insurance Approved 2015 Health Insurance Rates

    The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) announced the approval of 20 carriers offering 296 plans in the State Marketplace and 776 plans off the Marketplace, for a total of 1,072 plans. The DOI reported an average individual plan premium increase of 0.7 percent and small group plan increase of 2.5 percent. The Colorado Health Institute released their own analysis of the approved 2015 rates that includes trends across regions and markets.
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  • Idaho: Exchange Announced 2015 Coverage Year Plans

    For coverage year 2015, Idaho’s Exchange will offer nearly 90 medical plans for individuals and 80 for small businesses, according to the Idaho Gazette. The Exchange Board approved five issuers—Blue Cross of Idaho, BridgeSpan, PacificSource, SelectHealth and Mountain Health Co-Op—to offer the Qualified Health Plans. The plans’ prices have not yet been set.
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  • Idaho: Executive Director of State Marketplace Announced

    Pat Kelly, who has served as the State Marketplace’s Interim Executive Director since July, has been named Executive Director. Prior to serving as Interim Executive Director, Mr. Kelly was Director of Finance for the Marketplace.
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  • Illinois: Department of Public Health Announced Navigator Program Grants

    The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that 37 organizations were awarded a total of $25.8 million in federal funding to participate in Illinois’ In-Person Counselor Program (Illinois’ Navigator Program). Participating organizations, comprised of community-based organizations, foundations and unions, will provide education and enrollment assistance to consumers enrolling in health coverage through Get Covered Illinois (Illinois’ Partnership Marketplace). Selected organizations include community-based organizations, foundations and unions.
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  • Michigan: Healthy Michigan Plan Announced Enrollment Exceeding 400,000 Individuals

    Governor Snyder (R) announced that the Healthy Michigan Plan, the state's Medicaid expansion initiative, has enrolled more than 400,000 individuals since April 1, 2014. The Healthy Michigan Plan is projected to cover 477,000 Michigan residents.
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  • Minnesota: Two MNsure Advisory Boards Discussed Committee Rules, Responsibilities and Recommendations

    MNsure’s Consumer and Small Employer Advisory Committee and Health Industry Advisory Committee convened to discuss the respective committee’s roles and responsibilities and committee recommendations. Specifically, the Consumer and Small Employer Advisory Committee discussed: staff responses to the advisory committee recommendations on the navigator program, access, and data collection; MNsure’s enabling legislation; presentations on eligibility determination and narrow networks; and the MNsure Board of Directors policy on the committee’s roles and responsibilities. The Health Industry Advisory Committee: reviewed the committee’s policy; discussed MNsure’s key success metrics; and received updates from industry. 

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  • Mississippi: United Health Care Announced Participation in Mississippi Marketplace

    United Health Care announced that it filed a request to offer Qualified Health Plans in Mississippi, along with 2014 issuers Humana and Magnolia, both of whom will continue to offer plans and will increase the number of counties they serve in 2015. With the addition of United Health Care, all Mississippi counties will have at least two options for insurance carriers through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace. HHS must still approve United Health Care’s request.
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  • New Jersey: Oscar Health Insurance Announced Plans to Join State’s Marketplace in 2015

    Oscar Health Insurance, a year-old start-up that currently insures 16,000 New Yorkers, announced that they will participate in New Jersey’s Federally Facilitated Marketplace in 2015, according to NJ.com. Oscar joins UnitedHealthcare, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Republic of New Jersey, and AmeriHealth, who all participated in 2014 and will continue to offer Qualified Health Plans in 2015.
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  • Vermont: Blue Cross Blue Shield Announced Launch of Small Business Web Portal on October 15

    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont announced it will launch a web portal on October 15 that will allow small businesses and their employees to browse and select health insurance plans for the 2015 open enrollment period, according to VT Digger. This portal will offer an alternative online marketplace for small businesses given that SHOP  functionality is not currently available through Vermont Health.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont currently has 3,500 small group clients purchasing health insurance for 32,441 employees, accounting for 96 percent of the small group market and almost 50 percent of all health insurance plans.
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  • Washington: Exchange Board Discussed Updates on Open Enrollment, Operations, and Communications

    The Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board met to hear updates from the Policy, Operations, Advisory, and Health Equity Technical Advisory Committees and to review issues related to enrollment and operations, the carrier panel, language access plans, and health literacy. The Board heard status updates on the Carrier Roadmap, customer issues with the Exchange and premium payments, and 2015 open enrollment readiness. 
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Federal News

  • HHS Report Found 25 Percent Increase in Number of Issuers on 2015 Health Insurance Marketplaces

    There will be an estimated 25 percent increase in the number of issuers offering coverage through the Federally Facilitated and State Based Marketplaces in 2015, according to a new report released by HHS. Across the 44 states for which HHS has data, the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, operating in 36 states, will see 57 more issuers in 2015. Eight states operating State-based Marketplaces will gain 6 more issuers in 2015, a 10 percent net increase. 
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  • HHS Report Projected $5.7 Billion Savings for Hospitals due to ACA Coverage Expansions

    A new report released by HHS projects that hospitals will save $5.7 billion in uncompensated care costs in 2014 because of coverage expansions under the ACA. Hospitals in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs will save 74 percent (or $4.5 billion) of the total savings. Hospitals in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs will see 26 percent (or $1.5 billion) of total savings. The initial projections are based on an estimated increase of 8 million individuals covered under Medicaid.
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