October 1, 2021













In This Issue
Fast Facts
Federal Agencies Release Second Installment of Surprise-Billing Regulations
Democratic Infighting Delays Reconciliation Process
Urge Your Members of Congress to Support the Commonsense Reporting Act
Plan-Year 2022 Marketplace Registration and Training for New Agents and Brokers
Please Submit Any Follow-Up Info from Your In-District Meetings
State Spotlight: Four States Chosen for New CMS Innovation Model Aimed at Rural Healthcare
Healthcare Happy Hour: Employer Reporting Bill Introduced as Democrats Continue Reconciliation Debate
HUPAC Roundup: Virginia Elections Slowly Drift Toward a Toss-up
What We're Reading
Tools
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What We're Reading

It’s officially October! Put up your spooky decorations and prepare for Halloween stores to take over every strip mall near you. Here is what we’re reading this week:

  • Check out the October edition of America’s Benefit Specialist. This month’s articles include open enrollment best practices, how to utilize ICHRAs more effectively, and more!
  • NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein was published in the Chicago Tribune earlier this week. In herop-ed, she outlines exactly why the Medicare eligibility age should not be lowered.
  • The average premium for Medicare Advantage plans will be lower in 2022 at $19 per month, compared to $21.22 in 2021, according to new CMS data. However, Part D coverage is rising to $33 per month, compared to $31.47 in 2021. The agency released the 2022 premiums, deductibles and other key information for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans in advance of the annual Medicare open enrollment.
  • For many Americans, the pandemic has been a wake-up call, a trigger to reexamine the financial strategies they have created to prepare for the unexpected. Life insurance must be an essential piece of those strategies. According to LIMRA and Life Happens, 42 percent of families said they would face financial hardship within six months if the primary wage earner in the family died.
  • Benefits.gov has put together a list of facts and FAQs about Medicaid to help you find the answers you need.
  • While some healthcare workers remained unvaccinated as California's COVID-19 vaccination mandate took effect September 30, health systems reported that many have complied. Since state officials issued the order, several health systems have reported hundreds or thousands more workers getting vaccinated.
  • Centene Corporation will pay more than $71.2 million to settle allegations from Illinois and Arkansas that a pharmacy benefit manager subsidiary submitted inaccurate bills and failed to disclose discounts. The insurer will pay out more than $56 million in two installments to Illinois and $15.2 million to Arkansas.
  • Speaking of Arkansas and pharma, a top pharma lobbying group sued to strike down an Arkansas law that requires drugmakers to provide pharmaceuticals discounted under 340B to contract pharmacies. The lawsuit comes as six drugmakers have restricted sales of 340B products to contract pharmacies, which has prompted a legal clash with the federal government.
  • The Justice Department is combating a surge in counterfeit pills that can cause deadly drug overdoses, an effort that in the past two months has led to the arrest of more than 800 people, 60 search warrants and 1.8 million recovered counterfeit pills laced with enough fentanyl to kill 700,000 Americans.
  • In this week’s bit of feel-good news: Reid Alexander was diagnosed with the genetic kidney disease at age 17 and eventually went into kidney failure. Reid decided to look for love on the popular dating app Tinder, where he not only met his future husband, but his future kidney donor as well.

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