END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (Connecticut & Maryland)

Time: D H M S

HHS

The subject of transgender rights has been in the news a lot lately, particularly due to idiotic "bathroom discrimination" laws like the one recently passed in North Carolina.

As BuzzFeed notes today:

Just hours after the Obama administration on Friday stood up for transgender students, it took unprecedented steps to protect transgender patients.

Transgender people must be provided transition-related services and cannot be denied healthcare by providers or professionals who receive federal funding, according to a final rule announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule specifically bans the denial of coverage or healthcare itself on the basis of gender identity.

The rule, which comprises several regulations, was formed under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which includes first-of-its-kind civil rights protections in healthcare for several classes of people — including a ban on discrimination on the basis of sex.

Last November, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) posted a whole mess of proposed ACA policy improvements for the 2017 Open Enrollment Period. They included a Public Comment period, then spent awhile reviewing all of the suggestions and making tweaks/changes to the proposals accordingly.

Just moments ago, they released the final parameters/rules for 2017...all 540 pages of it. Good grief.

Anyway, while there's a mountain of legalese to wade through here, the first one which leaps out at me is the one relating to the public Rate Review policy.

(note: I'm live updating as I type this stuff, so keep checking back, I'll be adding more updates/analysis over the next hour)

Wow! OK, I'm back from my kid's field trip (nature center; they learned about how animals handle the winter via hibernation, migration & adaptation...learned about fossils...went on the nature trail to look for animal tracks...and even dissected owl pellets, hooray!!). Of all the days to miss a major HHS/CMS conference call, this was a big one. I'm furiously poring over the HHS Dept's ASPE January Enrollment Report  which, as I expected this morning, was just released less than two hours ago.