In the Health Reform Update for this week, the President releases a blueprint of modest proposals to reduce prescription drug prices, but does not include Medicare price negotiation authority, drug importation allowances, or other provisions most feared by the pharmaceutical industry.
Senate leaders push the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to take regulatory steps to stabilize Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces after bipartisan bills that would restore cost-sharing subsidies and reinsurance payments for insurers appear dead.
CMS rejects Kansas’ attempt to impose lifetime limits on Medicaid coverage. However, it allows New Hampshire to impose even harsher Medicaid work requirements for newly-eligible adults than those it has approved for other Medicaid expansion states.
Initial rate filings in Maryland and Virginia show individual market health insurance premiums may increase next year by as much as 64-91 percent due to the loss of the individual mandate and new federal regulations allowing for limited benefit coverage that does not comply with the ACA. A new study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts a 15 percent average increase in premiums for 2019 while coverage projections drop by one-third.
Consumer advocates in Idaho gain enough signatures to put a Medicaid expansion referendum on the November ballot. Maine becomes the seventh state to enact laws requiring greater transparency in drug pricing. The Vermont governor signs landmark legislation allowing residents to purchase lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada.