Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 22, 2014

Posts in "Insurance"

July 21, 2014

Virgin Islands’ Exemption From Health Care Law Prompts Alaska Plea

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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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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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Waiting for a Court Decision on Health Insurance Subsidies

Legal experts are mulling the implications of the ongoing delay in the release of an appeals court panel decision on the next legal challenge to the health care overhaul law. Court watchers will be hitting the refresh key on the website for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit each morning this week, looking for a decision on Halbig v. Burwell.

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July 9, 2014

Congressional Aides Mull Insurance Exchange Plan Options

Congressional staff account for more than a quarter of all people enrolled in the District of Columbia’s health insurance exchange plans, so when they make decisions, the effects can ripple.

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July 7, 2014

Courts Ponder Contraceptive Services and Exchange Subsidies

The Supreme Court ended its current term on June 30 with a decision allowing a closely held for-profit company with strong religious beliefs to avoid the 2010 health care law’s contraceptive services coverage mandate. Controversy over the decision was riled by a separate injunction released by the court on July 3, which allows a Christian college in Illinois to also avoid the contraception mandate.

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