Public Health Emergency
On July 16th, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra issued a declaration that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) would be renewed for an additional 90 days. CMS created a website dedicated to unwinding and returning to regular operations.
Changes to Health Exchange Premiums and Premium Tax Credits
The Senate and U.S. House of Representatives approved the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) August 12th, and President Biden officially signed the Bill into law August 16th, 2022.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) implemented large subsidies and more affordable plans for 2021 and 2022, but was set to expire at the end of this year. The IRA extended the enhanced subsidies that were originally provided by the ARPA for the next 3 years.
Uninsured Americans at an All-time Low
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced Americans without health insurance is now at 8%, which is a record rate.
Medicaid State of the Union
Working sessions are in process to develop operational workflows and automation for the Hospital Discount Care program, which is set to go live September 1st, 2022. The law requires hospitals to screen all uninsured patients and includes new rules on how payment plans are administered and when a patient is sent to collections. Originally the law was set to take effect on June 1st, but House Bill 22-1403 was introduced seeking a delay. Click here for more information on Hospital Discounted Care Policies and Procedures and Uniform Application.
Last year CMS approved the 1115 wavier that would provide 6 months post-partum Medicaid coverage, but this year’s legislative session looks to be extending that coverage even further. In February, the Senate unanimously approved the coverage to be extended for 1 year and the House approved the vote 142-18. Governor Brian Kemp signed the 12-month postpartum coverage extension into law. The coverage extension is set to take effect on October 31st, 2022.
The Biden administration suspended Georgia’s 1332 waiver to transition its individual market for Affordable Care Act plans from the federal exchange to a private-sector-run platform. The state had until July 28th to submit the changes and on July 27th they responded and made it clear that they would challenge the suspension.
The state enacted legislation extending Medicaid post-partum coverage from two to six months. Last month, HHSC held a public hearing on the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program. The commission sought stakeholder feedback on the post-partum extension. Stakeholders urged policymakers to adopt the extension to 12 months. The state is developing resources to share with families when the PHE ends and Medicaid eligibility redeterminations resume, and has begun some communication to stakeholders.