In the Health Reform Update for the past two weeks, Senate leaders eye a late June vote on their fast-tracked bill to repeal and replace key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while pledging unprecedented secrecy regarding its contents.
At least one major insurer (Centene) is seeking to fill the void in Marketplaces where insurers continue to exit due to uncertainty over if and how the ACA will be repealed. New York implements emergency rules barring insurers from participating in Medicaid if they leave the Marketplace, while at least 11 other states are weighing state-funded reinsurance programs that would retain Marketplace insurers and mitigate rate hikes by compensating them for exceptional claims. Three states (Arkansas, California, and New Mexico) are letting Marketplace insurers submit two set of proposed premiums in the event Congress does not fully-fund the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies or eliminates other key ACA provisions.
Maryland enacts the nation’s first law to prevent price-gouging for essential generic and off-patent drugs, despite the governor’s concerns over its constitutionality, while New York becomes the first to cap annual spending on prescription drugs.