Is HHS Compromising with Insurers?
Pardon the football analogy, but it's fall:
It's fourth and ten and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is just out of field goal range. They've been driving hard to an end zone with the words "Affordable Care Act" painted in big letters, but with a comfortable lead and plenty of time on the clock, the smart thing to do is, of course, to punt.
That's exactly what HHS did with the ACA's current 800-pound gorilla: ensuring children with preexisting conditions can get healthcare coverage.
In an October 13 letter from Secretary Sebelius to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), HHS attempted to stem the recent trend among healthcare payers to drop "child only" health plans by clarifying policies that aren't explicitly forbidden by the Act.
Among those clarifications, HHS says insurers are within their rights to (if permitted by state laws):
- Maintain separate "child-only" policies separate from closed policies;
- Penalize members that drop coverage and subsequently reapply;
- Set the number and length of open enrollment periods; and
- Adjust rates based on members' health status.
- Drug Pricing 'Tantamount to Greed,' Lawmaker Says
- CVS Ramps Up Retail Clinics with Provider Affiliations
- Study Puts Spotlight on Preventing Fall-Related Injuries
- Wanted: Nurse PhDs
- The Infection-Busting Treatment Payers Don’t Want to Talk About
- Surgical Checklists Unused in 10% of Hospitals, CMS Data Shows
- Contradictory Obamacare Rulings Issued by Appellate Courts
- 4 Tectonic Shifts Shaking Up Healthcare
- As HIPAA Breaches Accelerate, Tools Lag
- Ascension, Carondelet to Partner with Tenet, Dignity Health