I had heard that this was in the works, and with the recent trend of more & more states (most recently including Georgia) splitting off from the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) hosted via HealthCare.Gov, it's hardly surprising...but it's still a pretty big deal, especially given that Illinois is the 6th largest U.S. state by population. Via Amy Lotven of Inside Health Policy:
Illinois’ Department of Insurance would be authorized to operate a state-based exchange, starting in plan year 2026, under legislation introduced late Thursday by the Illinois Democratic House Majority Leader Robyn Gabel. Sources earlier this week told IHP they had heard state officials were working with lawmakers on exchange legislation and the bill could be unveiled by this week.
New DIFS Bulletin to Protect LGBTQ+ Michiganders from Discrimination in Insurance, Financial Markets
March 17, 2023
(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has issued a bulletin that reaffirms the department’s commitment to protecting Michiganders from discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in the insurance or financial services industries. The bulletin ensures that the insurance and financial services industries, including health insurance, must comply with the newly-amended Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act as signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer yesterday afternoon.
The first section of the legislative text is about as frank and clear as I've ever seen:
The legislature finds that Hawaii has long been a leader in advancing reproductive rights and advocating for access to affordable and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care without discrimination. However, gaps in coverage and care still exist, and Hawaii benefits and protections have been threatened for years by a hostile federal administration that has attempted to restrict and repeal the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and limit access to sexual and reproductive health care. The Trump administration made it increasingly difficult for insurers to cover abortion care and assembled a Supreme Court that restricted abortion access and that may eliminate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the near future.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is offered through the Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa program, also known as Hawki. Iowa offers Hawki health coverage for uninsured children of working families.
No family pays more than $40 a month. Some families pay nothing at all. A child who qualifies for Hawki health insurance will get their health coverage through a Managed Care Organization (MCO).
Mazel Tov to Audrey Morse Gasteier, who I know via online discussions & have met a couple of times in person at the annual Families USA conference. I'm sure she'll continue to do a great job:
BOSTON — Audrey Morse Gasteier, who has served as a policy leader at the Massachusetts Health Connector for more than a decade, was named executive director of the state-based Marketplace today by Secretary of Health and Human Services and Health Connector Board Chair Kate Walsh.
Morse Gasteier had been serving as acting executive director since January.
“Since its establishment in 2006, the Health Connector has been where Massachusetts residents can find affordable health care,” said Secretary Walsh. “Audrey has been a key part of that important work for many years, and I look forward to working with her as we continue to make health care coverage accessible to everyone in Massachusetts.”
I don't just mean that they aren't eligible for federal financial subsidies--that's a prohibition which I can at least understand, even if I don't agree with it. I mean that they aren't allowed to enroll in ACA exchange-based QHPs even at full price, as noted in Section 1312(f)(3):
As I noted last month, as we've reached the 3rd anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting U.S. shores and with the Public Health Emergency winding down, it's become more & more difficult for data analysts and researchers to acquire comprehensive, county-level data about cases, hospitalizations, deaths, vaccinations and so forth.
Earlier today I received a first: A "cease & desist"-type email from Humana Inc's "Sales Integrity Department" asking me to remove their logo from a blog post about the company:
Dear Website Owner:
Humana encourages agents and agencies (collectively, “Agents”) to promote the Humana Brand in a manner that complies with applicable laws and Humana’s own policies and procedures.
Internet-based capabilities are providing new and interactive ways to sell Humana products and services. Although these capabilities offer tremendous opportunities, they also create responsibilities for Humana and its Agents to maintain a system of controls and monitoring.