Healthcare Reform… More of the Same

Healthcare in the Trump Era Takes Its First Step

The Senate is making one last-gasp effort to repeal ACA… Well, not actually repeal, just reconfigure. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy have sponsored a bill, which will be eligible for consideration under budget reconciliation rules (i.e. 51 votes required to pass and not subject to filibuster). Under the bill the amounts paid by the federal… [Read More]

Another Blow to the Healthcare Exchanges as CareConnect Shutters

No Easy Answers Another Blow to Healthcare as CareConnect Shutters

CareConnect, the upstart insurance company founded in 2014 by Northwell Health in the Downstate New York marketplace, has made the decision to cease operations. It made a lot of sense that Northwell, a hospital chain with extensive provider connections, could cut out the middleman insurance company and offer insurance protection directly to its customers. It didn’t… [Read More]

States Petition to Chart Their Own Healthcare Course

States Petition to Chart Their Own Healthcare Course

­­The Trump administration has indicated a willingness to liberalize the Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make it easier for states to provide affordable coverage. So far, only Hawaii has been granted the ability to deviate from the ACA, but now Iowa will be testing the President’s stomach on… [Read More]

What to Expect for 2018 Premium Increases

What to Expect for 2018 Premium Increases

UBS released its 2018 Large Employer Health Benefits Survey and the results are encouraging. Premium equivalents for this largely self-insured study group are expected to rise 6.1% on average from 2017. Interestingly, the shift to high-deductible plans and the increase in non-premium cost-sharing are expected to stabilize. Makes sense – the economy is improving and employees are… [Read More]

Zombie Apocalypse: Health Insurer’s Tax

Zombie Apocalypse Health Insurers Tax

In 2014, fully-insured employer plans were greeted with a nasty surprise – the Health Insurance Providers Fee. The insured’s already massive healthcare costs were being further inflated 1.5–2% due to the new tax congress levied on insurers, which was based upon each carrier’s market share in the health insurance market. Of course that $8 billion… [Read More]

The Biggest Issue in Healthcare Reform Today

presidential election health policy

Now that the GOP’s plan to remake healthcare by fiat seems to be failing, the Trump administration has once again pulled out one of its aces in the hole. Funding of cost sharing subsidies is the biggest issue today in the debate, viewed by the health insurance industry as “the single most destabilizing factor in… [Read More]

It’s a Legislative Circus Out There

It’s a Legislative Circus Out There

My predictive skills have been working pretty well on healthcare reform. I suggested that it wouldn’t be easy or quick. I thought the House would fall in line and the Senate would eke something out – and that it ultimately will come to a thumbs up / thumbs down in both houses of Congress. With… [Read More]

Healthcare. Okay. Now What Do We Do?

Flag and Stethoscope

What a week it’s been. I am not sure why President Trump thinks that his latest attempt to coerce the Republican Congress will work better than his past efforts. The Democrats relied on 50 votes to get the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through and now the Republicans are trying to rely on 50 votes to make… [Read More]

Republican Senate Makes One More Go at Healthcare Reform

Making Healthcare Sausage

Senate Republicans are at it again, and this one may be their last chance to deliver on healthcare reform. And it is simply amazing to me how this has morphed into a bill that no one will like. Even though an additional $70 billion has been provided to subsidize care over the next 10 years… [Read More]

Healthcare…What’s the Answer?

Healthcare…What’s the Answer

As the Senate wrestles with finding the balance to pass its version of healthcare reform, a proposal by Senator Ted Cruz looks like it is gaining popularity. This amendment would allow insurers to offer plans which do not comply with the Affordable Care Act so long as they offer at least one plan which does… [Read More]