Still waiting! The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Texas v. Azar is due any time. This is the case that appeals afederal trial court judge’s decision in Dec 2018 that the individual mandate and the entire ACA are invalid now that the tax penalty for being uninsured was dropped to zero. Currently, 18 states, led by Texas, claim the ACA is unconstitutional. 21 states, led by California, are defending the ACA. The federal government also now claims the whole ACA is unconstitutional. Previously, the US Supreme Court said that the tax penalty is what made the mandate and the ACA permissible because Congress has the power to tax. Kaiser Family Foundation explains more.
Healthscore CT’s cost estimator component is now live. Healthscore CT lets people compare the cost of medical care at Connecticut hospitals and provider networks. It also has a quality component, with a scorecard for providers. Healthscore CT is a project of CT’s Office of Health Strategy.
“The ACA at 10” conference at Yale offered excellent perspectives on the ACA’s history, legacy and challenges. Speakers included some of the original architects of the ACA, including Kathleen Sebelius and Rahm Emmanuel, and many of the country’s leading experts on the ACA. Watch any segment you’re interested in:9/26 video. 9/27 video.Agenda.
In California: - Covered CA and UCLA conducted research on therole of Behavioral Frictions in Health Insurance Marketplace that was published by the National Bureau of Economics Research. The study found that reducing “behavioral frictions”--the hassles involved in enrolling--counts for a whole lot in getting people to enroll. Significantly, the study found that people who put off completing their enrollment tended to be healthier. Having healthier people in the risk pool helps keep premiums lower down the road. Sending a simple reminder letter was the most effective intervention in getting those people to enroll. The study looked at Medicaid to QHP customers separately from those who visited the exchange on their own initiative. Behavioral Economics Could Increase Obamacare Enrollment and Stabilize Markets. - California also has its ownstate health insurance survey which policymakers, researchers, health experts, members of the media and others regard as a critical source of comprehensive data on the health of Californians. Morehere andhere. - California’s OE starts early, btw, on Oct 15 and ends Jan 15.
Colorado: New results from the Colorado Health Access Survey show that the uninsured rate increased from 9.7% to 11.8% for people who earn two to three times the federal poverty level. The uninsured rate also increased for people between 50-65, and for kids 18 and under. Overall though, CO’s uninsured rate held steady at 6.5%.
In Minnesota: - MNSure is adding 39 new health plan options for 2020. Window shopping starts Oct. 15. - MNSure reports that nearly75 percent of uninsured Minnesotans—over 250,000 people—in 2017 would have been eligible for financial help through MNsure. How do they know? Because Minnesota conducts aHealth Access Survey. - Minnesota also has new interactive data (consisting of a downloadable and interactive Excel spreadsheet tool, and an interactive Minnesota map) on its uninsured population at the zip-code level. Partnering with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of MN, who provided project funding, and with essential guidance from the MNsure advisory board, this resource is useful for the exchange and policymakers as they develop strategies to reach the remaining uninsured in Minnesota.
Data: What new things should CT be doing with data to stay ahead of the curve? Where can we collaborate? Data lovers might want to attend the free CTData conference Wednesday, November 20 in New Haven. Register.