Policy Update - Week of Dec 8

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In the Health Reform Update for the past week, the House averts a government shutdown with a full-year spending bill that largely extends current funding levels but targets select Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions. However, it fails to include either a permanent Medicare “doc fix” or extension of the ACA’s two-year increase in Medicaid payments for primary care physicians.


Marketplace enrollment through the first three weeks of the second open enrollment period far exceeds last year’s first month totals, as web portals are functioning without severe glitches or failures. However, Oregon becomes the latest state-based Marketplace forced to import another state’s website technology.


New studies show that the ACA Marketplaces and Medicaid expansions have reduced the nation’s uninsured rate by 30 percent through September. Most Marketplace plans are now offering annual caps on consumer out-of-pocket expenses that are lower than the ACA requires, although average deductibles are rising by seven percent. 


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

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