Washington Health Policy Week in Review Archive

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

  • December 23, 2013 Issue
Medicaid Applications Drop in November, Administration Touts Marketplace Enrollment Growth

The number of applications from people trying to sign up for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program fell by almost 30 percent from October to November, according to recent estimates released by the Obama administration. The Obama administration sought to downplay the Medicaid estimates and highlight the recent enrollment growth in the private plans offered through the new marketplaces.

White House Opens Up Catastrophic Plans to People with Canceled Health Policies

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter late last week to Sen. Mark Warner that Americans with canceled health policies will be permitted to buy low-cost catastrophic coverage so they can comply with the mandate in the health care law that they have health insurance in 2014.

CHIP Offers Lower Costs, Comparable Benefits to Marketplace Benchmark Plans, GAO Says

Consumer's costs in five state Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) were lower than in the "benchmark" health plans in those states' new insurance marketplaces, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Comparing CHIP coverage with private insurance is relevant because CHIP insurance may be phased out.

New Orleans Health Commissioner Named HHS Health IT Coordinator

New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo will start Jan. 13 as the new national coordinator for health information technology at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Fears About Insurance Market 'Death Spiral' Overblown, Kaiser Analysis Suggests

Insurers are likely to eke out small profit margins even if fewer young adults enroll in health exchanges than the administration is targeting, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. The report suggests that the online marketplaces will be viable even if young adults enroll at a 50 percent lower rate than older people.

Deadlines for Paying Health Premiums Will Vary as Insurers Agree to Extend Time

America's Health Insurance Plans said last week that many insurers throughout the nation are willing to provide retroactive coverage to people who enroll in the new marketplaces as long as the consumers pay by Jan. 10.

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