AHP Regulation: This week the long awaited Association Health Plan (AHP) regulation was released. The regulation allows small firms and self-employed to purchase coverage in AHPs. AHPs do not have to follow ACA individual and small group market rules such as EHB or rating restrictions and as such are expected to enroll healthier employees. States retain similar levels of regulatory oversight as they did before the regulation. CBO projects this market will eventually grow to 4 million individuals. Wakely will be releasing its summary of the regulation shortly but in the meantime a good summary of the regulation can be found here. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
More Regulations: While nothing definitive the short-term duration final regulation is expected to be coming shortly.
Repeal and Replace Back? House Republicans released their 2019 budget. The budget seeks to reshape Medicare by introducing a voucher system, repealing the ACA, and dramatically cutting Medicaid. The bill should be thought of more as a wish list rather than what will happen. The larger question is if Republicans can pass a budget reconciliation bill. In order to use reconciliation (i.e., only need 50 votes in the Senate) as a vehicle to repeal the ACA, a budget bill must pass the House and Senate. This budget outline, if it passes both the House and Senate, would allow Congress to repeal and replace the ACA.
Amazon, Berkshire, JP Morgan Company Gets a Leader: Atul Gawande was named head of the project that the three well-known companies formed to reduce medical costs.
Changes to Part D? Kaiser Family Foundation released a good summary of the Administration’s 5-part plan for Medicare Part D.
Survey of State Legislators on Medicaid – University of Pennsylvania researchers surveyed state legislators’ support for different Medicaid goals. The findings point at the stark differences between the parties on the direction of Medicaid.