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Report Quantifies Burden of Multiple Chronic Conditions

September 20, 2017

A new report, seeking to outline and quantify the key challenges of multiple chronic conditions found that with each additional chronic condition, health care costs more than double, so that treating a patient with four chronic conditions could cost as much as 16 times more than a patient with only one condition could.

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Uninsured Rate Dropped To Record Low During 2016

September 15, 2017

New data released for 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the rate of uninsured Americans dropped to a record low of 8.8 percent, or 28.1 million, compared to Americans who were uninsured during 2015 (9.1% or 29 million). Pennsylvania’s rate of uninsured for 2016 also dropped to a record low of 5.6 percent, compared to 6.4 percent during 2015.

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CHIP Funding Deadline Ahead; Five-Year Extension Discussed

September 14, 2017

Facing a September 30 deadline, U.S. Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan agreement to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years. In Pennsylvania, more than 176,000 children rely on CHIP for affordable, comprehensive health care coverage. 

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Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing about Health Insurance Market Stabilization

September 12, 2017

In the third of a series of hearings before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee, five industry experts with different backgrounds offered recommendations about how to bring stability to individual insurance markets both short-term and for the future. 

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Governors Offer Blueprint for Insurance Market Stabilization; Senate Prepares for September Action

August 31, 2017

In a letter to Congressional leaders, a bipartisan group of governors, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, encouraged Congress and the Administration to take immediate steps to stabilize the individual health insurance marketplaces, and presented a policy blueprint.

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Federal Report Shows Overall Improvement in U.S. Health Care Quality; Disparities Persist

August 24, 2017

An annual federal report, 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, about health care quality and access indicates that health care quality across the U.S. improved overall from 2000 through 2014-2015, but at different rates for different priority areas. Although some of the gaps in care are lessening, disparities persist, especially among poor and low-income families.

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States That Expanded Medicaid Are Reducing Uninsured Amongst Minority Populations; Outreach Important to Sustaining Coverage Gains

August 22, 2017

The Commonwealth Fund recently released a report that shows that the decision by states, such as Pennsylvania, to expand Medicaid has resulted in 2016 uninsured rates for lower-income whites, blacks, and Latinos that were born in the United States dropping below 10 percent. 

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Pennsylvania CHIP Enrollment up 4.1 Percent This Year

August 22, 2017

Pennsylvania has seen 4.1 percent growth in Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment during 2017, despite a slight decline from July to August. Since December 2016, Pennsylvania has added 6,874 eligible children to the state program, increasing from 169,367 last December to 176,241 this month.

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Governor Announces New Leaders for Department of Human Services, Insurance

August 18, 2017

Governor Wolf has announced that he has nominated Teresa Miller, current Commissioner for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to serve as Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), effective August 21.

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CMS Announces Major Changes to Bundled Programs

August 17, 2017

This week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would significantly reduce mandatory bundled programs. 

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CMS Extends Deadline for Insurers to File 2018 Rates

August 15, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that insurers participating in the Health Insurance Marketplaces (HealthCare.gov) have until September 5 to file their final rates for 2018. The action provides additional time for insurers to adjust their premiums due to continued uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, including the possibility that cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies will go unfunded next year.

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Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Pens Letter to HHS Secretary Price, Urges Market Stabilization

August 01, 2017

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller yesterday sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price urging the federal government to commit to continued cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to help shore up Pennsylvania’s insurance marketplace.

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U.S. Senate Rejects ACA “Skinny Repeal” Legislation

July 28, 2017

Early this morning, the Senate voted 51 to 49 against the Health Care Freedom Act, also known as “skinny repeal” legislation. The legislation would have repealed limited portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the individual and employer mandates.

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State Insurance Commissioner: Pennsylvania’s Individual Health Care Insurance Market is Stabilizing

July 21, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller released today the insurer rate filings for health care insurance policy premiums for the 2018 individual marketplace, with an average rate increase of 8.8 percent for individual plans, and 6.7 percent for small group plans. Although the state's individual market is stabilizing, she also stressed that the current uncertainty surrounding national health care law threatens to upset that stability.

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New CBO Analysis on Repeal Legislation: Higher Premiums and 32 Million More Uninsured by 2026

July 20, 2017

A newly released analysis about the direct spending and revenue effects of the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017 (ORRA), would significantly increase the number of uninsured Americans. In addition, average premiums for individual health insurance policies would increase as much as 25 percent during the first year. Republican members of the U.S. Senate are vowing to push for a vote as early as next week for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

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