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April 11, 2014

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In This Issue
Resignation Shocker
Exchanges, We See Your 7 Million and Raise You 2 Million More
Medicare Data Dump
Medicare Advantage Non-Drama
Congressional Roadblock
Calling All Volunteers
Sun Life Hosts Summit Focused on Private Health Exchanges
What We're Reading
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Resignation Shocker

Lots of people have been calling for the resignation of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius since October and the disastrous rollout of Healthcare.gov, but she and the president decided to hang tough throughout the six-month open enrollment period. That's why few in Washington were expecting it when news of her resignation broke on Thursday night, just hours after she tweeted the news that over 400,000 more people have started the exchange coverage enrollment process this week, bringing the total to 7.5 million Americans who have selected a plan so far via health insurance exchanges. Sebelius gave no hint of her resignation plans while testifying on Thursday morning before the Senate Finance Committee... Read More

Exchanges, We See Your 7 Million and Raise You 2 Million More

As open enrollment, slowly but surely, comes to a close across the country the question on everyone’s mind seems to be “How many people have actually enrolled?” Well, according to soon to be former Secretary Sebelius’ testimony before the Senate Finance Committee this week, 7.5 million people have selected private health insurance coverage through the exchanges. How many of those enrolled have actually paid their premiums or were previously uninsured are other key questions, and ones that remain very much unanswered. But in other big enrollment figure news this week, the RAND Corporation published a studywhose results are based on a monthly survey... Read More

Medicare Data Dump

On Wednesday, in response to years of pressure from media outlets and consumer groups, CMS released detailed data about payments it made in 2012 to Medicare participating providers. Overall, the data shows $77 billion in billing by 880,000 doctors and indicates that Medicare paid nearly 4,000 physicians in excess of $1 million each in 2012. The data does not indicate what providers billed private insurance carriers... Read More

Medicare Advantage Non-Drama

While we were not prepared for the HHS resignation drama on Thursday night, we (and most of the health policy world) were prepared for potential Medicare drama on Tuesday night when CMS was set to release cuts to the Medicare Advantage program payments. Instead, CMS gave us our first surprise of the week when it announced that reimbursement for Medicare Advantage plans in 2015 would rise 0.4 percent, even though the agency had proposed a 1.9 percent average reduction in February... Read More

Congressional Roadblock

If you’re anything like your Washington Update authors you wake up every morning with the intention of getting to the office right on time (or maybe even a little early), but there is frequently some metro breakdown, preschool drop-off line snag or presidential motorcade that gets in the way and ruins your plans. It seems Congress has also been experiencing these types of roadblocks on the bipartisanship front. This week, the House of Representatives intended to pass a bill that would exempt American employees working overseas from the health reform law’s individual mandate requirement... Read More

Calling All Volunteers

Are you a health nerd? Do you have a few hours to spare each month? Would it bother you if your Washington Update authors, other NAHU staff and your fellow most nerdy NAHU members called and emailed you occasionally to chat about policy topics? Maybe pick your brain a bit and convince you to work on fascinating projects (for example, provide edits and input on NAHU position statements and comment letters). If this all sounds like fun for you, perhaps you would like to be a member of NAHU’s National Legislative Council or one of its supporting committees or working groups. Click here for the application... Read More

Sun Life Hosts Summit Focused on Private Health Exchanges

Sun Life Financial will host its second Wake Up Summit on April 16, featuring renowned healthcare experts discussing one of the elements gaining momentum due to rising healthcare costs and PPACA: private health insurance exchanges. The Summit will provide valuable information to insurance brokers, HR professionals and employers as the healthcare landscape continues to change... Read More

What We're Reading

From wacky viral videos to insight on the inner workings of the OMB and analysis about your love life, we've got you covered with disparate things to look at this weekend!... Read More

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