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Week in Washington
CMS announced the results of the 2024 ACA Open enrollment. While a few states Open Enrollment extends until the end of the month, the majority of states wrapped up their Open Enrollments. 2024 Open Enrollment saw a record 21.3 million people select ACA Exchange plans. Here are some highlights:
- Record high enrollment of 21.3 million plan selections (about 5 million more than last year)
- CMS data show that 2.4 million plan selections in states that use HealthCare.gov, or approximately 15%, were made by individuals who were previously enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP coverage.
- 4.2 million more enrollees below 250% FPL
- ACAsignups has a good summary of year over year state comparisons (West Virginia enrollment is up 80%)
Drug Negotiations Status
The first ever Medicare drug negotiation process is about to hit a key inflection point. By February 1st, the federal government is required to release its initial offer for each of the 10 drugs selected for negotiation. This release could also push to the forefront the myriad of lawsuits filed against the program. There are at least 9 different lawsuits currently working its way through the court. There is an expectation that a decision, on at least a few of them, will be reached in the next few months.
- Redetermination Update – KFF’s tracker on Medicaid disenrollment as a result of Medicaid redetermination now stands at 15.7 million as of January 22nd. This is already higher than CBO’s estimates.
- State Budget Conditions – KFF also released a summary of expected state financial conditions for the upcoming fiscal year. Overall, KFF’s survey found that state budgets are expected to be tighter next fiscal year relative to the current one. Tighter fiscal conditions have often been associated with relatively less Medicaid spending.
At it’s recent meeting, MedPac released a report highlighting the need to standardize benefits for Medicare Advantage plans. The options included creating standard dental/vision benefits to limiting the number of MA plans that can be offered in an area to standardizing cost-sharing levels. Medpac’s recommendations are influential for lawmakers and regulators.
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