Last week survey results from the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index showed that the uninsured rate continues to rise, from a low of 10.9 percent as of the fourth quarter of 2016 to the current high of 13.7 percent, a net increase of about 7 million uninsured individuals. For an analysis of what may be contributing to the increase in the number of uninsured, both Health Affairs has a blog post on the subject and the New York Times published an article on their blog The Upshot.
Last Thursday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for plan year 2020. The Notice proposes regulatory and financial parameters for qualified health plans on the Exchanges, plans in the individual, small group, and large group markets, and self-funded group health plans. Our technical experts are reviewing the Notice and evaluating potential implications for states, so watch this space for upcoming programming.
Breaking news from Friday: the partial government shutdown has prompted an appeals court judge to issue a stay in Texas v. Azar lawsuit. For an analysis of where the case stands and implications of the federal shutdown more broadly on health care, listen to this Kaiser Health News’ What the Health? podcast (start at 1:12).
Over the holidays, Judge Reed O’Connor issued a stay and partial final judgment in Texas v. Azar. Doing so allowed the parties to immediately appeal his recent decision to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The December 30th ruling ensures the ACA remains fully in effect in all 50 states and DC. Following the decision, on January 3rd. 16 states and the District of Columbia filed an appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Check out this Health Affairs blog post for background on the case and an update on the legal proceedings.