Aetna CVS Health will join Maryland Health Exchange individual market in 2024
BALTIMORE – Aetna, a CVS Health company, has filed to offer its Aetna CVS Health individual health plans through Maryland Health Connection in 2024, giving consumers across Maryland another option for health coverage through the state-maintained marketplace.
“This is great news for the individuals and families who choose their health insurance coverage through the Maryland Health Connection marketplace,” said Governor Wes Moore. “It is vitally important for consumers to have choices to select the best plan for their needs. Maryland continues to be a national leader in maintaining a robust, affordable marketplace.”
Currently, three insurers – CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – offer individual market health plans through Maryland Health Connection.
MARYLAND WINS FEDERAL APPROVAL FOR “REINSURANCE” FOR ANOTHER FIVE YEARS
Program has helped drive down rates for Marylanders who buy their own health coverage to among the most affordable in the nation
BALTIMORE (July 5, 2023) – The Reinsurance Program that helped drive down costs for consumers who purchase their own health insurance in Maryland to among the lowest rates in the nation has been renewed for the next five years.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury informed Maryland health and insurance officials that they have approved the state’s application for the period from Dec. 31, 2023, when the current authorization expires, until Dec. 31, 2028.
Idahoans to see 12-percent lower health insurance costs with approval of key “Leading Idaho” waiver
Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little announced today the State of Idaho achieved a key milestone of the “Leading Idaho” plan – approval of the state’s innovation waiver, ensuring accessible health insurance for more Idahoans.
“Idahoans benefited from another win from our ‘Leading Idaho’ plan today. The approval of the state’s innovation waiver is estimated to reduce insurance premiums for individuals by about 12-percent, keeping more Idahoans insured and providing them better access to affordable healthcare,” Governor Little said.
As I noted last night, the healthcare provisions of the upcoming American Families Plan could be in jeopardy, due primarily to (wait for it) the liberal and progressive wings of the Democratic party squabbling over whether to pass ACA 2.0 or to beef up Medicare instead. Aside from the fact that this is likely a false choice (there seem to be several options available to pay for both, or at the very least to pay for large portions of each), this has also led to various factions of Democrats to move more assertively to ensure their priorities are included.
The New Democrat Coalition (NDC) consists of 94 mainstream House Democrats, including many of those who first took office after the 2018 midterms to help flip control of the House.
The bill in question wasn't terribly complicated; it essentially just placed a new fee on health insurance carriers to finance a new fund which would in turn be used to reduce healthcare coverage costs for low- and middle-income New Mexicans. Furthermore, since some of the fees would be imposed on managed Medicaid programs which are mostly federally funded, it would have leveraged tens of millions of dollars in federal funding as opposed to all of the fees coming from state residents. Had it gone into effect, HB 278 was expected to generate around $125 million in revenue for the state to use to reduce premiums and cost sharing for enrollees.
Back in November, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released a proposed ACA Section 1332 Waiver proposal which, if it were to be fully approved, would completely transform the ACA individual marketplace into something entirely different:
On November 4, 2019, Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia released a new draft waiver application under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that, if approved, would reshape the state’s insurance market. The application reflects a two-phase approach: a state-based reinsurance program to begin in plan year 2021, followed by a transition to the “Georgia Access” model beginning in plan year 2022. Both components of the waiver application would extend through plan year 2025.
NOTE: This is a joint post by three of my colleagues and myself:
David M. Anderson, Charles Gaba, Louise Norris and Andrew Sprung
State policymakers have been prolific and creative in putting forward measures to strengthen their ACA marketplaces. Measures enacted since 2017 or in progress now include reinsurance programs, which reduced base premiums by an average of 20% in their first year in the first seven states to implement such programs; new or renewed state-based exchanges, which capture insurance user fees that can be used for advertising and outreach; state premium subsidies to supplement federal subsidies; and state-based individual mandates, which can provide funding for all of the above.
This Just In via the New Hampshire Insurance Dept...
Governor Sununu and NH Insurance Department Announce Plan to Reduce Premium Rates, Improve Individual Health Insurance Market
CONCORD, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu is announcing that the New Hampshire Insurance Department intends to file a Section 1332 State Relief and Empowerment Waiver application with the federal government to promote stability in the state’s individual health insurance market with an expectation that plan year 2021 premiums will be reduced by approximately 15% over what they would have been otherwise.
With my big MLR Rebate project finally out of the way, I have a backlog of other write-ups, including several approved 2020 premium rate changes. First up is tiny Rhode Island.
As you may recall, back in July the Rhode Island insurance commissioner announced that the state was following New Jersey's model: They're reinstating the individual mandate penalty, and using the revenue from that to help fund their just-approved state reinsurance program to reduce unsubsidized premiums by 5-6 percentage points:
If approved, Rhode Island would have a $14.7 million reinsurance program for 2020 funded through the individual mandate penalty and federal pass-through funding. Rhode Island estimates a federal pass-through rate of 43 percent. Of the $14.7 million, the federal government would contribute less than half of the funds (about $6.4 million), and the state would contribute about $8.3 million.