Obamacare subsidy rulings put heat on governors

Eliot Cutler, independent candidate for Maine governor, called a news conference last week to decry the ruling by a federal appellate court that could lead to the elimination of premium subsidies for Obamacare enrollees in Maine and 35 other states relying on the federal insurance exchange.

“Had there been a state exchange designed specifically for Maine … families across the state of Maine would not be wondering when they go to sleep tonight if and when they will lose their health insurance,” Cutler said.

So far Cutler, who trails Republican Gov. Paul LePage, a hard-line Obamacare foe, and Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in the polls, is one of the first political candidates across the country to use the court decision to fire up support among voters who benefit from the healthcare reform law’s subsidies. But some experts say other political candidates may follow as they and voters have time to assess the ruling.

The ramifications of last week’s 2-1 ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Halbig v. Burwell, which disallowed premium subsidies in states using the federal exchange, are potentially immense. If that opinion is ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court […]

By |July 29th, 2014|Health Reform|Comments Off

Ensuring fair health collections and more in this month’s ACA news

The latest issue of ACA International’s Pulse newsletter is now available. View the August issue of Pulse on the Health Care Collections section of the Association of Credit and Collection Professional’s website. This month’s newsletter features articles about ensuring fair health care collections, an increase in hospital consolidation, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau research on medical debt, and more. Click the Read More link to download ACA International’s Pulse newsletter.

By |July 29th, 2014|Downloads, Industry News|Comments Off

Without Medicaid, hospitals may pay patient premiums

Uncompensated care was supposed to be a thing of the past, but it’s persisting in many states not expanding Medicaid eligibility. As an alternative, for some high-cost uninsured patients, hospitals are turning to a new option.

In his 32 years working in insurance operations at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Pat Riley has seen the problem of uninsured patients ebb and flow — with poor health outcomes for individuals and uncompensated costs for the health system — and the Great Recession brought another surge.

Now director of insurance at Forrest General, the 512-bed flagship of Forrest Health, Riley is optimistic about the potential of the Affordable Care Act. While Mississippi, like 23 other states, isn’t expanding Medicaid eligibility to low-income childless adults, those earning above 100 percent of the federal poverty level can get premium and cost-sharing subsidies for exchange plans — a message that Riley and Forrest Health try to hammer home to the residents of greater Hattiesburg through participation in health fairs, town halls, public service announcements and outreach to patients.

“It became obvious very early on that people who were eligible for the subsidies automatically assumed that they couldn’t afford a plan,” Riley said.

Federally certified as a marketplace […]

By |July 25th, 2014|Health Reform, Medicare/Medicaid|Comments Off


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