How are HIX’s going to sustain themselves?

Federal health officials and state exchange leaders may be pleased with enrollment and plan choices in many places, but long-term financing is a puzzle yet to be solved.

More than $4 billion in federal funding has been granted to help states create health insurance exchanges, but starting in January, that federal establishment funding will no longer be available. While HHS may have its own budget for Healthcare.gov and the 34 states served by it, the rest of the state exchanges will have be financially self-sustaining.

There are a variety of approaches being taken that have their own benefits and risks, although most are relying on strong enrollment to bring in adequate revenue, as Sarah Dash, policy vice president at the Alliance for Health Reform, and colleagues highlight in a report for the Commonwealth Fund.

Most states are levying fees on plans sold through the exchange as their primary financing vehicle, with assessments on monthly premiums ranging from 1 to 3.5 percent, the percentage Healthcare.gov is using.

Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland and the District of Columbia are also levying fees on health plans sold off-exchange — an unwelcome prospect for some insurers with minimal or no participation in public exchanges — while others are […]

By |November 25th, 2014|Health Reform|Comments Off

Nearly 9 of 10 readers in survey say Ohio should keep expanded Medicaid

Ohio — An overwhelming number of people who responded to a reader survey said the Ohio General Assembly should approve spending money on an expanded Medicaid program for the next two years.

We asked readers how they would advise legislators when they take up the issue in the new session of the General Assembly early next year. Almost 90 percent of the more than 400 people who responded to the survey by Wednesday afternoon expressed support for continuing expanded Medicaid in Ohio.

Gov. John Kasich has indicated he’ll ask legislators to appropriate the money that the federal government will provide to pay for expanded Medicaid when he sends them his state budget proposal.

Ohio law requires that the money pledged by the federal government be formally appropriated before the state’s Department of Medicaid can actually spend it.

But will Kasich’s fellow Republicans, particularly in the House of Representatives, make that vote?

About 76.5 percent of those responding to the survey on cleveland.com said lawmakers should vote to appropriate the money in the state budget. Another 12.5 percent said lawmakers should appropriate the money, but in separate legislation that could include controls on the program.

Just 11 percent favored rolling back the state’s Medicaid program to […]

By |November 24th, 2014|Medicare/Medicaid|Comments Off

Kasich defends Medicaid expansion, Common Core on Republican governors panel

If Ohio Gov. John Kasich really is running for president, he accomplished one goal yesterday at the Republican Governors Association meeting.

He stood out from the crowd.

In his first public appearance at the two-day event, Kasich wound up getting both the first and last words before hundreds of GOP backers in a ballroom of the gated Waldorf Astoria resort during a high-profile panel discussion involving four other governors mentioned as potential presidential candidates.

And he wound up as the only one to defend Common Core, advocate Medicaid expansion and say he is open to the possibility of eventual citizenship for immigrants currently in the country illegally.

The panel with Kasich, moderated by  Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, included Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Mike Pence of Indiana, Rick Perry of Texas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

The other four all questioned stances advocated by Kasich — while being careful to add that they weren’t criticizing any governor doing the best for his state.

But because Kasich’s policies are generally more moderate than the others’ on the stage, Todd often went to him to get a different point of view — and the Ohio governor usually delivered.

For instance, while the others were bashing President Barack […]

By |November 24th, 2014|Medicare/Medicaid|Comments Off

 

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