Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 30, 2014

Posts in "Insurance"

July 25, 2014

Bipartisan Health Bills: Medical Leave, Congressional Plans and Chronic Care Coverage

Despite bitter congressional wrangling over the health care overhaul law and health spending priorities, several bills introduced this week suggest there is some bipartisan consensus on health care issues.

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New Tax Forms Released for Documenting Health Coverage

The IRS has fleshed out new reporting requirements stemming from the Affordable Care Act, including instructions for how taxpayers should calculate penalties if they fail to purchase insurance.

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July 24, 2014

$330 Million in Premium Rebate Checks Are Coming

The Department of Health and Human Services today highlights one of the dividends stemming from the 2010 health care overhaul. HHS this morning announced the tally of this year’s consumer health insurance premium rebates.

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By Paul Jenks Posted at 9:06 a.m.
Insurance

July 23, 2014

Today’s Spotlight: Fraudulent Insurance Subsidies

A House Ways and Means oversight panel this morning examines the process for applying for the health care overhaul’s premium tax credits. The insurance subsidies are at the center of two contrasting court decisions released on Tuesday from court panels in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va.

This hearing, however, isn’t about the legality of the subsidies themselves — it’s about cases where people may have fraudulently attained such benefits.

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July 22, 2014

Separate Appeals Court Validates Subsidies

In a dueling series of federal appellate court rulings today, a separate decision from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., ruled that tax subsidies for health plans  are allowed for both state and federally operated exchanges.

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White House Responds to Court Decision on 2010 Overhaul (Video)

The White House press spokesman Josh Earnest today responded to federal appeals court panel ruling that health care overhaul law subsidies only apply to insurance exchanges formally established by the states.  The White House insists its legal case will prevail and anticipates the Department of Justice will ask the full court to review the decision.

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July 21, 2014

Virgin Islands’ Exemption From Health Care Law Prompts Alaska Plea

murkowski 088 0501314 445x296 Virgin Islands Exemption From Health Care Law Prompts Alaska Plea

Murkowski. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner released a letter to a Virgin Islands official releasing U.S. territories from insurance requirements mandated by the 2010 health care overhaul law. On Friday, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski weighed in the matter.

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By Paul Jenks Posted at 1:55 p.m.
Insurance

July 18, 2014

Workweek Threshold Bill in House Gets Adjusted Estimate From CBO

House Republicans have led a long effort to repeal or at least change elements of the 2010 health care overhaul law. Earlier this year, amid concerns about unemployment, the House passed a bill that would adjust the workweek threshold for employer-sponsored health care coverage.

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By Paul Jenks Posted at 11:15 a.m.
Insurance

July 17, 2014

Report Wonders: Where is the Patient Deluge?

One of the most widely accepted expectations of both proponents and opponents of the 2010 health care law was that health care utilization rates would increase as newly insured persons sought treatment options. However, a report this week from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Athena Health Research does not show a deluge in new patients.

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July 16, 2014

Today’s Spotlight: Premium Subsidy Verification

A House Energy and Commerce panel today examines the income verification process for health plan premium subsidies.  Problems with the verification system became apparent in news reports published in May and the committee is mulling recent reports from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general on problems with early planning and insufficient controls on the troubled subsidy verification process. Full story

July 15, 2014

IRS’s Role in Health Care Law Is Targeted in House Spending Bill

The House today continues amendment votes on the fiscal 2015 Financial Services spending bill. Health care proposals in the legislation focus on the more than 40 provisions in the 2010 health care law that task the IRS with verifying consumer health insurance exchange subsidies, administering premium tax credits and enforcing the individual and employer health coverage mandates.

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New Rules, Busy Times for Congressional Research Service

The Congressional Research Service is charged with keeping lawmakers apprised of the details of legislative matters and procedures. One of its biggest jobs right now, without a doubt, is tracking the implementation of the 2010 health care law.

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July 11, 2014

Gauging the Impact of Medical Loss Ratio Rebates

One of the early regulations implemented under the 2010 health care overhaul law is a requirement that insurance companies give rebates to consumers for premium charges in excess of a minimum medical loss ratio (MLR). The requirement prompted $1.1 billion in rebates in 2011 and $520 million in 2012. The Government Accountability Office  has released a survey of eight insurers inquiring on how the MLR requirement has impacted business practices. The GAO reported:

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Surveys Cite Drops in Uninsurance Rates

Recent new enrollment in health care overhaul law’s insurance exchanges, particularly an expanded Medicaid program, has lowered the number of uninsured persons, reports a new Commonwealth Fund survey.

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July 10, 2014

Senate Democrats Plot Quick Action on a Hobby Lobby Response Bill

451905588 web 445x302 Senate Democrats Plot Quick Action on a Hobby Lobby Response Bill

Democratic Sens. Mark Udall of Colorado (left) and Patty Murray of Washington appear at a news conference Wednesday to unveil the Senate bill. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A group of congressional Democrats has unveiled dual measures to address last week’s Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores that the federal government cannot require “closely held” businesses with religious objections to provide free birth control coverage under the health care law.

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