Human Arc Blog

  • Fate of ACA Subsidies Rests on Four Words

    Shanna Hanson - December 29, 2014

    A Supreme Court hearing will be held March 4, 2015, to evaluate four words in the Affordable Care Act (ACA): “established by the State.” At stake in the decision are the insurance subsidies provided by the federal government to eligible individuals in the 36 states that use the federal Marketplace. In a recent post, Legal [...]

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  • Additional Step for Some to Renew Medicaid/CHIP

    Shanna Hanson - December 10, 2014

    Some Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries enrolled in coverage prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation Jan. 1, 2014, now may need to supply additional information to renew coverage. This is a change from years past, and if recipients don’t provide the information needed to re-determine eligibility, they risk losing their [...]

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  • Enrollment Estimates: A Moving Target

    Shanna Hanson - December 1, 2014

    The second annual Marketplace open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) began Nov. 15, 2014. Just days earlier, the Health and Human Services (HHS) scaled back its enrollment estimates. CBO Estimates The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated a total of 25 million people would enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) through the [...]

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  • Qualified Health Plan Renewals: Passive versus Active

    Shanna Hanson - November 10, 2014

    It is time for Qualified Health Plan (QHP) members to renew their coverage. There are two ways to do this – passively or actively. A look at both shows why active is highly encouraged. Passive renewal Passive renewal requires little to no involvement on the part of the plan member. QHPs are responsible for informing [...]

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  • Legal Challenges to Federal Insurance Marketplace Subsidies

    Shanna Hanson - October 15, 2014

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides tax credits and subsidies to purchase Qualified Health Plans on state-run insurance exchanges. A May 23, 2012, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule extended the tax credits and subsidies to consumers buying health insurance through federal exchanges in states without their own exchanges. Some lawsuits are challenging the legality of [...]

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  • Affordable Care Act Increases Emergency Department Demand

    Human Arc - October 3, 2014

    Emergency Department Demand Up Emergency department (ED) visits are on the rise, according to recent studies that examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on EDs. A new study by the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) of over 450 hospitals in 13 Medicaid expansion states and 12 non-expansion states shows how the Affordable Care [...]

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  • Same-Sex Marriage and Health Care Coverage

    Shanna Hanson - September 18, 2014

    In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage based on gender. Since then, a series of guidance and policies have been published that impact health care assistance eligibility for individuals in same-sex marriages. Four notable ones are described below. Internal Revenue Ruling 2013-17 was [...]

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  • New Special Enrollment Periods for “Limited Circumstances”

    Shanna Hanson - September 4, 2014

    The first open enrollment period to obtain health insurance through a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) ended March 31, 2014. Some life changes create an enrollment opportunity outside open enrollment. In an earlier post, I shared information about this and also about a limited special enrollment period (SEP) for high-risk pool participants and COBRA beneficiaries.  Now [...]

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  • Social and Economic Wellness can improve Patients’ Health

    Shanna Hanson - August 21, 2014

    In the changing era of value-based purchasing, readmission penalties and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), it’s increasingly important for providers to focus on socioeconomic wellness factors in addition to clinical care. But why? Clinical care accounts for only 20% of health status and outcomes. Another 40% is attributable to social and economic factors including but not [...]

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  • ICD-10: Preparing for Implementation in 2015

    Human Arc - August 14, 2014

    The Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule in July formalizing Oct. 1, 2015, as the compliance deadline for conversion to ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure codes.   This final rule is important because it accelerates the rule-making process, bypassing the formal comment period otherwise available to discuss the date, according to this Modern [...]

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