Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Hospitals Begin Subsidizing Exchange Premiums via Third Parties

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 28, 2014

A collaboration between a Wisconsin United Way chapter and the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics uses a hospital financial gift to help defray the cost of health insurance for some potential enrollees. It could be a model for others.

Months before HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave the okay this month for third-party non-profit foundations to pay premiums on behalf of exchange enrollees, a few organizations were already imagining creative ways to do just that.

One—a collaboration between Wisconsin's United Way of Dane County in Madison and the 471-bed University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics—is not only up and running, it's perhaps the best known.

Others, like the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association, a trade group for 45 hospitals in Broward, Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties, hope to have a program underway soon.

"We have a task force that's been looking at aggregating our funds in part because of our legislators' obstinence" [to expand Medicaid], says Linda Quick, SFHHA president. Of the one million people left without coverage by that decision, Quick says, "600,000 are in our counties, so we have a disproportionate share."

"Our goal is to have [the payment program] up and operational when the next enrollment period starts, Oct. 1," Quick says.

UW and HealthConnect
As of March 31, United Way's HealthConnect program has used the bulk of a $2 million gift from one hospital, UW Health, to help 630 households— about 750 people—with health exchange plan subsidies. The amount ranges from $27.61 to $675 per month for the rest of the year, says Sandy Erickson, United Way Health Initiatives director.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.