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The Trump administration announced Thursday new proposals that would ban what it calls "backdoor rebates," as it seeks to lower drug costs for consumers at the pharmacy counter, a move that could impact the way insurers negotiate discounts on pharmaceuticals from manufacturers.
The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing new regulations for Medicare drug plans that would change the way drug discounts are negotiated, in order to address a "perverse incentive" which senior officials say drive up drug prices.
A Louisiana audit that suggested there could be wide-spread Medicaid misspending has prompted a probe on the federal level.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio penned a letter Thursday to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services head Seema Verma, citing a report from Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera as need for more information about whether there is a national Medicaid spending problem. "If these improper payments are occurring in one state, it is logical to assume overpayments are occurring in other states," the Republican congressmen wrote in the letter.
Cigna CEO David Cordani Friday said the addition of the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts is helping bring new choices for the PBM's customers to medical plans the insurer sells.
Cigna closed in December closed its acquisition of Express Scripts, which Cordani says will help the combined company offer a more integrated package of benefits to customers to "improve whole person health and affordability for customers and clients."
An early version of a Republican plan to continue the state’s Medicaid expansion program without taking on additional costs involves raising premiums, assessing some taxes and collecting money from tax-exempt religious corporations, according to a bill draft obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The bill is being drafted by Rep. Ed Buttrey, who sponsored the original 2015 legislation that has led to Medicaid coverage for about 95,000 additional adults in the state. The program will end in July if the Legislature does not reach a compromise, and Buttrey is seen as a bridge between Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock and the Republican-led Legislature.
Mississippi Center for Public Policy
Thanks to a recent change in federal regulations for short-term health insurance policies, Mississippians could have a chance to purchase cheaper policies.
In August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule that extended the duration of short-term plans from three months to 12, with renewals that could stretch them out for up to three years. The policy went into effect in October.
According to HHS data, the monthly premium for a short-term policy in the fourth quarter of 2016 was $124, compared with $393 for an unsubsidized individual market plan.
State officials in Kentucky have delayed the start of some new eligibility rules for a portion of its Medicaid population.
Kentucky is one of 36 states to expand its Medicaid program under former President Barack Obama's health care law to cover more people. President Donald Trump's administration gave Kentucky permission to require those people to do things like get a job, go to school or do community service work to maintain their coverage. The Bevin administration calls these rules the "community engagement" requirements.
Capital Public Radio
State lawmakers were expected to receive a first look Friday at the costs tied to an ambitious plan to provide health insurance for more California residents.
The report respresents California's response to the Trump administration' retreat on the Affordable Care Act, analyzing how to provide more generous consumer subsidies to pay for costly health insurance, subsidies for insurance companies and a state penalty on residents who fail to maintain health coverage.
Travel Market Report
For couples and families with one or more members who are or could be pregnant, travel insurance isn't always an easy part of their vacation purchase. Many consumers may be shocked to learn that for issues other than complications, trip interruptions or cancellations due to a normal pregnancy aren't covered.
But that might not be easy to determine because most exclusions are written by lawyers to protect travel insurance companies and underwriters, and clarity is given up for the sake of risk mitigation. "Travel insurance is not supposed to be major medical coverage. It's for emergencies that occur," said Jason Schreier, CEO of APRIL Travel Protection.
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NAHU Newswire is a daily brief featuring the latest news of interest to healthcare agents and brokers, selected from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiView. NAHU personnel, in accordance with internal policies, do not approve all stories selected. Any comments regarding content of this publication should be emailed to NAHU. It should not be understood or inferred from the presence of advertisements that NAHU endorses any products or services advertised. Similarly, NAHU is not responsible for the quality of journalism reflected in the articles: it should not be understood or inferred that NAHU supports the information provided. MultiView and NAHU are not liable, for any delays or inaccuracies in the information contained in this brief, nor for any actions taken or outcomes resulting from relying on the information provided herein.
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