Welcome to Spring! I say this as I watch it snowing outside my office window though! Stay positive as I’m totally confident Spring will occur soon!
Congress passed the latest Omnibus Bill which President Trump signed but it did not include some important issues that NAHU has been proposing such as Marketplace Stability, HSA fixes, MLR, etc. It is hoped that each of these will indeed be addressed yet this Spring/ Summer.
HHS is working on a new Rule for Short Term Health Plans and the Comment period will end April 23rd. This would allow time frames to expand from 90 days to up to a year. It is hoped that the new guidelines would be implemented perhaps in 2019. But it could be 2020. Stay tuned.
In addition, CMS has issued the new payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans for 2019.
The Administration continues working on issuing guidance that will provide more flexibility for states to implement changes to their marketplaces via Section 1332 of ACA. How this might affect IN is yet to be seen. (See 1332 update under State House Update section.)
Other areas of continued discussion are return to a 40 hour workweek, HIT Tax repeal, HSA contributions, Hybrid Risk Pool’s, etc.
As always, continued Thanks goes to NAHU’s staff – eg, Janet Trautwein, John Greene, Chris Hartman and Marcy Buckner as they help direct the overall legislative process in D.C.
Other items –
Be sure to visit www.nahu.org for more detailed information on all NAHU Federal legislative activities.
State House Update
March 14th at midnight marked the end of the 2018 Legislative Session. (However, it does appear that a one day Special Session will be convened in May to complete a hand full of non industry Bills that have been identified as necessary items by the Governor and House/ Senate leadership.)
Bills that were identified last month – Expanding Mental Health Access, the DOI Cleanup, Prior Authorization, FSSA Matters and Insurance Matters all passed and have been signed. Again, all appear to be positive for the industry as a whole.
Section 1332 language was included in HB 1301. This basically allows the Governor to apply for a state innovation waiver. More discussions will take place later this Spring with leaders in both the Indiana House and Senate as well as the Governor’s office. They will relate to the possible use of “risk pool” Federal and State funds to encourage more competition from a payer and plan
standpoint. Use of non-compliant ACA product offerings is also a possibility. The new guidance from D.C. will become a part of discussions. All updates on such discussions will continue to be shared.
As I like to mention every month, the prevention of onerous Bills making it through the Legislature is due largely to ISAHU’s continued relationships with folks in the Governor’s office, Lt.
Governor’s office and Statehouse that support our industry overall. These relationships also directly impact the efforts of our ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs, plus the efforts of our sister organizations – Big I, PIA, NAIFA, Insurance Institute, IMA, IN Chamber and NFIB. And it also affects the ongoing efforts of several ISAHU members who continue to work on maintaining such working relationships with Legislators that may impact support for any legislation of assistance or detriment to the industry.
Just a reminder, – at least 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats have announced that they will be retiring from the Legislature this year. That should make for some interesting Primary and Fall elections this year.
Potential meetings on Section 1332 and possible exemption filing by the Governor will be discussed in the near future. Updates will be provided.
Their technical corrections Bill passed in the Statehouse.
Hall attended the Washington Township Lincoln Day Dinner on March 16th at Broadmoor Country Club in Indianapolis. Time was spent with Congresswoman Susan Brooks, Senator Todd Young, State Senator Jim Merritt and State Senator John Ruckelshaus. There was also the opportunity to meet with various
candidates for other statewide offices in the upcoming Primary on May 8th.
David Berman and D. Hall attended a fund raiser on March 28th for State Senators Jim Merritt and John Ruckelshaus.
Senator Ruckelshaus was instrumental in getting Section 1332 language included in HB 1301.
NAHU staff continue to be a vital part of ongoing discussions during this 115th Congress. Details are provided in the Washington Updates each Friday. Please be sure to read them which will assist you in responding to your client’s issues.
And I ask you to remember to thank the countless NAHU members around IN and the Country as a whole that continuously put in long hours to ensure the best information possible is being shared with Legislators, HHS, CMS, IRS, DOL, DOI’s and of course other NAHU members. As you know, much of this is always done in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public.
And as always – ongoing THANKS to all the Local Legislative Chairs and those that serve on their committees. Your service is vitally important and greatly appreciated.
Ongoing simple message – IF you are not participating in both PAC’s – HUPAC – our Federal PAC and ISAHU-PAC – our State PAC, then PLEASE do so! Both PAC’s help support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles. Information can be found here.
I and the rest of the ISAHU Legislative Committee greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with you to continue to promote real market based “healthcare reform”. Please feel welcome to contact any of us at any time.
Thanks for all you do to improve the healthcare system for your clients!