Policy Update-Week of Dec 1

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In the Health Reform Update for the past week, the opening of the second enrollment period for the federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) brings in 765,000 new or returning subscribers in the first two weeks. However, modest premium increases resulting from a 25 percent increase in Marketplace competition may be offset by a dramatic increase in the use of specialty tier coinsurance to control drug costs. 

 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) agrees with consumer advocates that placing all or most drugs for a specific condition into specialty tiers can constitute unlawful discrimination, while Coventry becomes the second insurer to settle a similar complaint in Florida.

CMS reports that growth rates for national health spending are at their lowest level since 1960, but cautions that spending may accelerate once the economy fully rebounds from the recession.

Governors in the conservative-leaning states of Alaska, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming put forward plans for some form of Medicaid expansion, despite strong legislative opposition.

You can find the full Health Reform Update here! If you’re interested in Advocacy, please join the PSI Patient Coalition.

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