Health Reform Update - Sept 1st

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In the Health Reform Update for the past two weeks, the full District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals agrees to reconsider a decision by a three-judge panel invalidating Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies offered to federally-facilitated Marketplace consumers.  Oral arguments are set for December.

Fears of “rate shock” in ACA Marketplaces continue to dissipate as premium data for 31 states still show only modest average increases for 2015, while rates for Arkansas are expected to decline by two percent.  A Kaiser Family Foundation study finds that several urban areas across 15 states may also see lower premiums.  In addition, the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) predicts a rare decline in out-of-pocket health care spending for this year.

CMS will conduct a “soft launch” this fall of small business Marketplaces for five states that defaulted to federal control, in an effort to avoid some of the unanticipated software glitches that plagued last year’s rollout of the individual Marketplaces. 

Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett becomes the ninth Republican governor to participate in the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, as his private sector alternative receives federal approval to start enrolling consumers on December 1st.

You can view the full Health Reform Update here and for more information about the PSI Advocacy you can also join the PSI Patient Coalition.

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