HHS Dept.

Arizona

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), approved Medicaid section 1115 demonstration initiatives in Arizona that will help the state take aim at health-related social needs. Like recently approved demonstrations in Oregon and Massachusetts, Arizona’s demonstration will test innovative interventions that target critical drivers of health outcomes, including housing insecurity.                     

“Everyone deserves the chance to receive the care they need to live safe and healthy lives,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We are proud to work with Arizona in this groundbreaking effort. We will continue doing all we can to strengthen Medicaid, and urge states to follow Arizona’s lead.”

Family Glitch

This is partly a repost of mine from April 2021, but with some important updates:

Of all the problems the ACA has encountered over the 12 years since it was first signed into law by President Obama, one of the most irritating ones had nothing to do with Republican sabotage. The call on this one was made by the IRS (then under the Obama Administration), based on their interpretation of a few bits of language within the legislative text itself back in 2013: The Family Glitch.

As explained by the brilliant Louise Norris:

We still get calls on a regular basis from people who are shopping for individual insurance because adding dependents to their employer plan is prohibitively expensive. We estimate that roughly 20 percent of the people who contact us are in this situation.

HHS Dept.

via the Health & Human Services Dept:

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that the Biden Administration's historic vaccination program, which has gotten over 90 percent of seniors fully vaccinated and over 70 percent of seniors a booster shot, is linked to more than 650,000 fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations and more than 300,000 fewer deaths among seniors and other Americans enrolled in Medicare. The study, which was conducted by researchers with HHS's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), underscores the importance of Americans – particularly seniors and others at high-risk of serious outcomes – getting an updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall.

This has been a long time coming...via the HHS Dept. (by email, no link yet):

New Rule Makes Clear that Noncitizens Who Receive Health or Other Benefits to which they are Entitled Will Not Suffer Harmful Immigration Consequences

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule applicable to noncitizens who receive or wish to apply for benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and States that support low-income families and adults. The rule, which details how DHS will interpret the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility, will help ensure that noncitizens can access health-related benefits and other supplemental government services to which they are entitled by law, without triggering harmful immigration consequences. By codifying in regulation the “totality of the circumstances” approach that is authorized by statute and which has long been utilized by DHS, the rule makes it clear that individual factors, such as a person’s disability or use of benefits alone will not lead to a public charge determination.

via Dan Diamond at the Washington Post:

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency on Thursday in an effort to galvanize awareness and unlock additional flexibility and funding to fight the virus’s spread.

“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus,” Becerra said at a Thursday press briefing.

The health secretary is also considering a second declaration empowering federal officials to expedite medical countermeasures, such as potential treatments and vaccines, without going through full-fledged federal reviews. That would also allow for greater flexibility in how the current supply of vaccines is administered, Becerra said.

...Federal officials Thursday afternoon said they were still finalizing the formal declaration of a public health emergency, which would be posted on an HHS webpage.

Via email (no direct link to PR yet):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 2, 2022

New HHS Report Shows National Uninsured Rate Reached All-Time Low in 2022

Secretary Becerra Says Biden-Harris Administration Efforts to Expand Coverage, Lower Costs through American Rescue Plan and Other Actions Are Working

Via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

Today, following President Biden’s Executive Order on ensuring access to reproductive health care, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), alongside the Departments of Labor and of the Treasury (Departments), took action to clarify protections for birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, most private health plans are required to provide birth control and family planning counseling at no additional cost.

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

  • Awards to 36 grantees support President Biden’s Executive Orders on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, and represent the largest outreach and enrollment investment ever made through Connecting Kids to Coverage program.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), today awarded $49 million to organizations on the frontlines of reducing uninsured rates and connecting more children, parents, and families to health care coverage. In support of President Biden’s Executive Orders on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra’s priority of expanding access to affordable, quality health care, these awards represent the largest investment CMS has ever made in outreach and enrollment through the Connecting Kids to Coverage program. 

CMS Logo

Via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new guidance and communication to ensure all patients — including pregnant women and others experiencing pregnancy loss — have access to the full rights and protections for emergency medical care afforded under the law. This announcement follows President Biden’s executive order on reproductive health issued Friday.

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