ObamaCare Update & Latest Executive Order
Latest ObamaCare News Updates Helps You Keep Up On ObamaCare Today
Open enrollment for 2017 started November 1st, 2016 and ended on January 31st, 2017.
As of 2-10-17: Republicans presented several plans for review. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order designed to minimize the economic burden of the ACA while Congress works to repeal and/or replace it. The key to the repeal and replace efforts fall on the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price who was confirmed as the Secretary of HHS on 2-9-17.
New ACA Executive Order
Signed on 1-24-17, a new presidential executive order signed doesn’t affect the current law but will affect the how provisions are interpreted and implemented within legal guidelines in two ways:
1- Instructs the Executive Branch to “… take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”
2- Instructs all the current administrations with responsibility under the ACA to “… exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on” everyone, including insurers.
The order doesn’t change core elements of the law but defines the direction the administration’s replacement plan will likely go. President Trump instructed the Secretary HHS Tom Price, Secretary of Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, and administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma to work within the law, as it stands, to reduce regulatory and financial burdens to any person, state, or other entity affected by the provisions of the ACA law.
The departments will interpret elements of the law, set industry standards and penalties, and define industry relevant terms (medical and insurance terminology standards for insurers). These authorities currently define specific guidelines and limitations.
The Executive Order Insurer Oversight
Secretary Tom Price now has authority to penalize insurers for not following the rules and setting the standard for health insurers reports and their coverage provisions.
Executive Order – State Innovation Waivers
New changes may see more ACA waivers to states for ‘State Innovation’. The Medicaid Expansion Waiver 1115 gives states increased control and administrative flexibility to improve access, efficiency and coverage of the state-administrated programs: Medicaid and CHIP.
Currently states use waivers to redefine covered benefit types, eligibility criteria, and benefits administered under the Social Security Act. The SSA currently stipulates minimum standards for residents the states must cover under its Medicaid programs. Waivers allow states to customize many Medicaid elements now but only if the changes improve minimum requirements.
On January 1st, 2017, a new state ACA State Innovation Waiver (1332) went into effect. It gives states flexibility in the way the Marketplace Cost Assistance funding is used to create unique statewide systems for improving their residents’ access to affordable insurance and care options.
Combining both waiver funding methods, states can effectively expand type of subsidized custom Medicaid program to all of their residents in exchange for the cost assistance the state’s residents had been eligible for under Premium Tax Credits and Cost-sharing Reduction Subsidies. The step aids states in need of federal public healthcare funding for single payer or public options. The outcome of the new law will define specifics on waivers more clearly.
Executive Order – Exemptions
There is some relief for working families and those who are having difficulty getting affordable coverage implemented by the HHS immediately. The executive order reveals these exemptions will be made more accessible and easier to apply for quickly. For millions of working families having financial hardship or seeking affordable coverage options in states not offering Medicaid, this order provides them immediate relief.
Executive Order – Grants
The HHS is responsible for awarding and administration grants for expanding healthcare access through community health centers, innovation, research, and reporting requirements. The executive order isn’t specific on who gets priority but promises burden relief on tax payer’s funding costs for programs that help to expand access to primary care and for quality improvement measures.
Watch our Updates for the latest changes in the ACA.
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