A new study found that states that used “silver-loading” or “silver-switching” strategies to compensate for the cost-sharing reduction payment cuts offered lower premiums for subsidized enrollees. The Trump administration has solicited feedback on potentially banning silver-loading in 2021. In other insurance and costs news: bundled payments, penalties, health care sharing ministries and more.
Modern Healthcare: Subsidized Rural Health Premiums Helped Most By Silver-Loading, Ending CSRs
Rural enrollees receiving subsidies on Affordable Care Act exchanges gained more from the Trump administration terminating cost-sharing reduction payments and subsequent state actions than their urban counterparts, according to a new study. While urban areas had cheaper plans than rural exchanges for subsidized enrollees from 2014 to 2017, that flipped in 2018 and 2019 when the cost-sharing reduction payment cuts affected premiums, according to a Health Affairs study published Monday. (Cohrs, 12/3)
Modern Healthcare: Bundled Payments Get A Boost In Two States With Employee Programs
New bundled-payment arrangements by Maine and Connecticut for their state employee health plans could accelerate the current sluggish growth of that value-based model in the private sector. Carrum Health announced Tuesday that Maine has started to offer state employees, early retirees and dependents access to the company’s center-of-excellence program, which pairs patients with selected providers for more than 100 musculoskeletal, bariatric and cardiovascular procedures. (Meyer, 12/3)
California Healthline: Anthem Blue Cross Gets Flagged And Fined More Than Other Insurers
One of California’s largest health insurance plans has distinguished itself, and not in a good way. The state Department of Managed Health Care hit Anthem Blue Cross with $9.6 million in fines from January 2014 through early November 2019, according to a California Healthline analysis of agency data. That is about 44% of the $21.7 million in penalties the department issued against full-service health plans during that period. (Rowan, 12/3)
New Hampshire Public Radio: Health Care Sharing Ministries To Challenge N.H. Cease And Desist Order
Two health care entities ordered to stop doing business in the state will get to appeal that decision during a public hearing in December. In October, the N.H. Insurance Department issued a cease and desist order against Aliera Healthcare and Trinity HealthShare, two Georgia-based entities that partner to offer and market a health care sharing ministry. (Bookman, 12/2)
The Star Tribune: UnitedHealth Group Touts Optum Effect On Its Corporate Growth
UnitedHealth Group plans this month to open its 500th pharmacy that’s focused on the behavioral health care needs of certain clinic patients. The pharmacy is part of a business that UnitedHealth Group acquired last year and exemplifies how the Minnetonka-based health care giant has diversified beyond UnitedHealthcare, the core health insurance business that remains the largest carrier in the county. (Snowbeck, 12/3)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.