Consumer Union finds that ACA brochure helps Americans understand premium tax credits
Posted by Nikki Hurt on May 17, 2013
Consumer Union (CU) and the Kleinmann Communication Group Inc. recently conducted a study on the effectiveness of a brochure, created by CU, in educating individuals on the advance premium tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Helping Consumers Understand the New Premium Tax Credit, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, demystified 10 key aspects of the premium tax credit to consumers, including when enrollment into ACA Exchanges begins and ends, when tax credits apply, and when individuals would need to report the tax credit on their tax return. The study was conducted in Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah.
Urban assesses impact of capping tax exemption for employer-sponsored coverage
Posted by Nikki Hurt on May 10, 2013
According to a study recently released by the Urban Institute, capping the tax exemption for employer-sponsored coverage could generate $264 billion in revenue by 2023. Limiting the Tax Exclusion of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Premiums: Revenue Potential and Distributional Consequences, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recommends capping the top 25% most expensive health benefits to raise this amount. The study finds such an option would lead to a 16% tax increase for those who file taxes in 2014, and a 20% increase for those who file in 2023.
State Health Reform Assistance Network releases Medicaid checklist
Posted by Nikki Hurt on April 16, 2013
The State Health Reform Assistance Network, in conjunction with the National Academy of State Health Policy and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released a checklist detailing Medicaid requirements that each state must meet by 2014, irrespective of whether or not a state expands Medicaid eligibility as described in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To accompany the outlined requirements and optional provisions detailed in the report, State Health Reform Assistance Network has also included a resource list with tools and analyses that can be incorporated to aid in Medicaid requirement implementation. The checklist is divided into five categories that should be altered in response to pending Medicaid changes, each of which containing various requirements to satisfy the specified category:
- Eligibility and Enrollment
- Medicaid Operations
- Medicaid Financing
- Medicaid Benefits
- Consumer Assistance
TFAH report examines public health spending
Posted by Nikki Hurt on
Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released their April 2013 Issue Report, focusing upon public health spending. The study ultimately found an inadequacy in public health financing at national, state and local levels, citing that 29 states decreased their public health budgets between fiscal years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. The report provides several recommendations to ameliorate the implications of varying health outcomes resulting from the underfunded public health infrastructure. These include increasing core public health funds and creating new financing models for public health services.
RWJF study finds decline in employer-sponsored health coverage
Posted by Nikki Hurt on April 11, 2013
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and State Health Access Data Assistance Center released a report finding that 60% of all insured Americans receive insurance through their work. This percentage is down from 70% in 2000, indicating a difference of 11.5 million individuals. The study notes that the decrease in receipt of employer coverage began prior to the 2010 implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and is caused by a combination of employers no longer offering coverage and employees no longer accepting it. Rising insurance costs is identified as the culprit responsible for the decline of employer-based health insurance.
Urban Institute report focuses on self-funding in small businesses
Posted by Nikki Hurt on April 4, 2013
The Urban Institute, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released a report concentrating on small businesses choosing to self-fund in order to avoid provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Companies that self-fund use their own financial resources to provide benefits for employees, therefore holding the risks of their insured employees themselves (fully-insured businesses contract with insurance companies to provide these services). Some small businesses find this approach as an attractive measure to possibly maintain lower premium costs, especially if they employ young, healthy individuals. The report discusses the current status of self-funding among small businesses in 10 states, as well as factors that may cause small businesses to self-fund.
Study details state medical spending burden
Posted by Nikki Hurt on
A new study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute describes the financial burden of medical spending on a state-by-state basis. Using this information, the study hones in on the number of individuals per state that experience high burdens from medical spending, yet currently are not eligible for Medicaid. The study found that Medicaid expansion, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has the potential to mitigate the financial burden from medical spending for several vulnerable populations in various regions across the country.
Manatt brief discusses challenges of using Medicaid funding to purchase private plans
Posted by Nikki Hurt on March 29, 2013
A new brief released by Manatt Health Solutions, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, outlines some of the issues states may encounter in pursuit of using premium assistance to purchase private insurance through the state marketplace for Medicaid-eligible adults. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states have the option to expand their Medicaid eligibility requirements and receive additional federal funding to cover the costs of insuring the newly included population. Several states have been conversing with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over the possibility of using the federal monies granted to them for expansion to provide their Medicaid population with private insurance. This brief addresses several potential legal, operational and policy issues with this option, including how to ensure that Medicaid participants retain their rights as Medicaid beneficiaries while receiving coverage from a private insurer.
Medicaid expansion could cover over 40% of uninsured veterans
Posted by Nikki Hurt on March 26, 2013
A recent analysis released by the Urban Institute for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation indicated that 535,000 of America’s 1.3 million uninsured veterans would receive health coverage if all states chose to expand their Medicaid programs. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states may extend Medicaid eligibility to adults whose income falls below 138% of the federal poverty line. 121,000 uninsured veterans will be eligible for government subsidies through their state insurance marketplaces, but the remaining 414,000 will not qualify for subsidies because their incomes are too low, leaving Medicaid expansion as their only option for coverage. Of these individuals, around 218,000 reside in states that have either denied expansion or remain undecided.
Urban Institute shows how hospitals benefit by Medicaid expansion
Posted by Nikki Hurt on March 21, 2013
A new Urban Institute study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that hospitals may increase their revenues if states elect to expand Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states can opt to expand their Medicaid eligibility to adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty line. In doing so, the study claims that the revenues lost from individuals switching to Medicaid from private insurance, which offers lower reimbursements to providers, will be offset by the large number of individuals who would be receiving coverage as a result of Medicaid expansion. The Urban Institute determined that for each dollar lost from private insurance revenue, hospitals would increase Medicaid revenue by $2.59.