Health insurance firms organized meetings with the Federal government to discuss the pending HHS program to waive the annual limit requirements under PPACA for certain qualifying plans. Without such a waiver, limited benefit plans will be discontinued beginning on September 23, 2010.
CALIFORNIA: The California Department of Insurance (CDI) announced an e-mail notification system that will alert consumers when new individual health insurance rate filings are submitted.
NEW MEXICO: The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) has appointed John G. Franchini as the new Superintendent of Insurance, a position that has been vacant since the May 4 resignation of his predecessor, Morris Chavez. Franchini was selected from among five finalists and will assume his new duties in mid-August.
OHIO: The Strickland Administration advised state agencies to begin planning for the next two years at both current levels and with a 10 percent cut in funding. The Budget Planning and Management Commission has held hearings for Ohio’s budget adoption. The current budget ends June 30, 2011 and is billions in the red. Testimony before the Commission focused on increasing efficiencies by combining certain administrative functions of local and state governments and utilizing performance audits to determine if tax dollars are being spent efficiently. The Center for Community Solutions suggested to legislators that principal stakeholders in Medicaid (such as managed care companies and hospitals) be given budget targets and be asked to come up with ways to slow the growth of Medicaid. Conversely, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio guided legislators to the possibility of Ohio “rebalancing” its long-term care spending to shift utilization from long-term care facilities to home and community-based services.
While PPACA-related budget priorities will take place after the next biennial budget is adopted, it was previously determined that the federal expansion of Medicaid eligibility as part of health care reform will cost the state $190 million in 2014 —rising to $332 million by 2019. Absent any federal law changes, annual costs will rise substantially in 2020 and beyond, as the federal government’s match for new enrollees will drop to 90 percent of the total cost.
The total state cost of Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2019 is projected to be $1.45 billion.
OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma was the only state to request an open enrollment period for the PPACA provision requiring coverage of children under 19 for individual insurance. HHS decided open enrollment periods will be permitted at the discretion of insurance companies. The Oklahoma Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments on August 4 in a lawsuit filed by Commissioner Kim Holland, on behalf of Department of Insurance (DOI), challenging the constitutionality of a new 1 percent claims-paid fee passed by the legislature in late May. The bill is scheduled to take effect August 27, unless there is court intervention. The DOI announced last week that a final contract for a new temporary high-risk pool has been signed and sent back to HHS. The DOI is in the process of drafting the application that will be used with the pool. Oklahoma was awarded $60 million for use over 40 months. Candidates are being interviewed to be the High Risk Pool Manager. Open enrollment will begin August 1 with an effective date of September 1.