What’s New This Week?
GOP “A Better Way” Obamacare Replacement Plan
House Republicans released their version of the healthcare plan to replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The plan, known as The Better Way, includes the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and the sale of insurance across state lines.
Key components of the plan include the gradual increase (starting 2020) of the eligibility age to receive full Social Security benefits. This would increase the current eligibility age of 65 to age 67. Medicare would compete with private plans in a competitive- based market. Medicaid reform would allow states to determine work requirements for recipients who are able to work and give states more control of the program.
While the Republican plan does not allow for the denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, insurers would be allowed to apply a surcharge based on health status, for those who do not maintain continuous coverage.
For a full version of the GOP Plan, visit http://abetterway.speaker.gov/_assets/pdf/ABetterWay-HealthCare-PolicyPaper.pdf
Four measures that would have further restricted gun ownership and registration were rejected last week in a 15-hour Senate filibuster. However, GOP senator Susan Collins, may have bipartisan support for her plan that would require FBI notification if anyone on the “No-Fly List” (or anyone on another list with names indicating additional airport screening is required) had purchased a gun in the past five years. It would also now ban sales to those on both lists. It came as no surprise that the NRA opposed last week’s measures, as well as the senator’s plan.
Mergers & Acquisitions
While Anthem and Cigna publically reported in May that regulatory clearance for the merger has been won in 12 states, the deal is far from complete. The insurance commissioner from California is against the merger and pressed the DOJ to nix the deal. The Department of Justice has their own issues with allowing the merger to move forward. In a meeting held June 10, and attended by attorneys general from across the US, skepticism was raised over the loss of market competitiveness.
Meanwhile, Centene has completed its acquisition of Health Net making them the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the US.
Coming Soon – CMS Improved HIPAA Website
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid announced a new series of updates that will be launched to help people navigate HIPAA compliance and regulation information.
The site can be accessed by visiting: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/HIPAA-Administrative-Simplification/HIPAAGenInfo/index.html?redirect=/hipaageninfo/
This section addresses the provisions of the Health Insurance and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, Title II)
HIPAA FACTS for Professionals can be found by visiting: http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/faq
Business Associates Rules and Compliance Requirements can be found by visiting: http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/covered-entities/index.html