Leaves are turning (and falling) which means Fall is really here! That also means Halloween is upon us. Scary costumes will be the norm for many and there’s almost something “Scary” coming from Washington, D.C. Thank goodness for our D.C. staff working for all of us 24/7 out there!
Recesses are momentarily over and like it or not – they are back in Session. And of course NAHU remains extremely active on Capitol Hill and in the White House. Examples are:
CMS announced an initial set of improvements to the new Medicare Plan Finder that will be rolled out ahead of the annual enrollment period on October 15, along with an overview video and pointer videos on plan results, pharmacy selection and adding prescription drugs.
The Administration released two proposed rules to promote coordinated care and value-based arrangements by modernizing Medicare’s Physician Self-Referral Law and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute.
The House and Senate returned on Tuesday, Oct 15th from their two-week recess and are expected to focus the remainder of the fall on prescription drugs and surprise medical billing, with the House Ways & Means committee holding a hearing on prescription drug issues on Thursday.
Early-bird registration is now available for NAHU’s 30th Annual Capitol Conference, which will take place February 24-26, 2020. Prices increase by $100 on December 5.
As reported last month, NAHU continues working with the Coalition Against Surprise Billing in ongoing efforts to bring this legislation to fruition. It is hoped the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a markup hearing in the coming weeks on surprise-billing legislation. It will also need to be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee, with a final package expected by this fall.
One of NAHU’s coalition partners released television advertising on surprise billing as part of a multi-million-dollar campaign across television, radio, print, digital and social platforms.
Political TV debates continue and NAHU’s coalition opposing single payer, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, advertised recently at Democratic presidential debate through both television and digital media, underscoring the perils of adopting a single-payer or Medicare-for-All type plan.
As a reminder, NAHU will be launching a new Single-Payer Certification Course this fall to educate health insurance professionals on comparative single-payer systems and ongoing proposals in the U.S. The course has been filed for continuing education credits in all states and discount pricing will be available to NAHU members who enroll before the end of the year.
The House has voted to pass HR 748 to fully repeal the Cadillac Tax. It has moved to the Senate and it is hoped it will be brought to the floor for a vote soon now that Recesses are over. President Trump is expected to sign it when it reaches his desk.
NAHU continues to work COBRA as creditable coverage, repeal of the HIT Tax, Prescription Drug Transparency, play a lead role in a coalition opposing Single-Payer proposals, return to a 40 work week rule, changes to Medicare Advantage plans, employer reporting improvements, MLR exclusion, etc. Inroads are being made on all the above so stay tuned.
The Alliance to Fight the Forty, the lead coalition working to repeal the Cadillac tax of which NAHU is on the Steering Committee, has drafted a Senate sign-on letter in support of S.684. The letter will be sent to Senate Leadership urging them to include full repeal of the “Cadillac Tax” in a year-end package. The State and Local Chapters are being asked to sign a letter and return it for inclusion.
The Partnership for Employer-Sponsored Coverage has drafted a stakeholder sign-on letter in support of the bipartisan Commonsense Reporting Act (S. 2366/H.R. 4070) to streamline the annual IRS health reporting system. The State and Local Chapters are being asked to sign a letter and return it for inclusion.
The Commonsense Reporting Act:
- Creates a second, voluntaryoption for employers to prospectively report pertinent information about the type of health coverage they offer their full-time employees prior to annual Exchange open enrollment
- For employers who voluntarily choose to prospectively report, they will not have to report individual-by-individual enrollment information after a coverage year
- Provides consumers and our employees with real-time data during Exchange open enrollment about coverage we offer our full-time employees
- Eliminates most 1095-C forms
- Eliminates employer requirement to collect spousal and dependent Social Security numbers
- DOES NOT force employers to change the 6055/6056 reporting system they already use. Prospective reporting created under this bill is VOLUNTARY.
However, it still appears that Democrats in charge in of the relevant committees in the House are making it difficult to bring such items to the floor for a vote.
The Trump Administration is still talking about a “phenomenal new healthcare plan” that may yet be released this year that would overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.
State House Update
Your ISAHU Legislative Team continues to develop and maintain relationships with appropriate Leadership, Committee Chairs and Committee Members.
As reported each month, discussions continue with appropriate members in the Indiana House and Senate to promote Section 1332 initiatives such as “risk pools and non-compliant ACA product offerings. Work also continues on setting up appropriate meetings with appropriate personnel in the Governor’s administration as needed. All new guidance from D.C. will be a part of discussions. Any updates on such discussions will continue to be shared.
(Note: as a reminder, Democrats in the House on Capitol Hill have introduced plans to restrict any Section 1332 initiatives. While President Trump will not sign any such legislation, this could unfortunately impact future discussions on the local level.)
The ISAHU Legislative Committee will be working with State Representative Donna Schaibley on a couple of pieces of legislation that she will promoting in the coming Session. More on this will be know in the next few weeks.
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.
Nothing to report this month. Meetings will be set as needed.
Roger Skinner and Dwight “D” Hall attended the HRCC BBQ at the State Fair Grounds on October 8th and had the opportunity to speak with numerous House Leadership and those that serve on the Insurance related committees.
Roger Skinner attended a GOP House Leadership Reception at Bose Public Affairs on October 14th and had the opportunity to speak with various Legislators.
Reminder – FYI – The combined NAIFA/ISAHU Day On The Hill for next year has been set for Jan 21, 2020. Please mark your calendars.
The Legislative committee is reconfirming previously identified specific individuals to be responsible for various product areas of the industry which should lead to better information sharing on an ongoing basis. It is still being slightly updated and should be ready for distribution next month.
NAHU staff continue to be a vital part of ongoing discussions with the new 116th 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.
As always, I would 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 other members who serve on the Legislative Committee as well as those that serve on other 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 on the www.HUPAC.org , www.nahu.org and the www.ISAHU.org sites.
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 continue to improve the healthcare system for your clients!
Dwight “D” Hall
ISAHU Legislative Chair