Policy Reform- Week of Dec 15

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In the Health Reform Update for the past week, the President signs a full-year spending bill that includes an exemption for expatriate plans covering American workers abroad from the individual and employer mandates under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The President is also expected to sign separate legislation creating tax-free savings accounts for the disabled.

A surge in ACA Marketplace enrollment before the deadlines to purchase January 1st coverage forces federal and state Marketplaces (as well as some insurers) to give applicants additional time. The federal Marketplace continues to operate without the technological failures that impeded enrollment last year. However, several state Marketplaces are unable to resolve lingering glitches.

Humana becomes the third insurer to settle a discrimination complaint with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation regarding specialty tier coinsurance for HIV/AIDS drugs. “Detrimental” tax increases force the Vermont governor to abandon that state’s plan to move to a single-payer health care system by 2017. Tennessee and Wyoming both advance Medicaid expansion alternatives that rely on health savings accounts.

You can find the full Health Reform Update here and more information about joining the PSI Patient Coalition is available here.

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