Your Source for Health Reform

Topic: HHS

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the cabinet-level federal agency responsible for health-related programs. Medicare and Medicaid the nation’s two largest public health programs as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, are managed by HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS.

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The Need for Strong Federal Essential Health Benefits Standards

This August 2012 letter from 80 organizations to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius notes that the agency has received numerous received numerous comments urging the use of a non-prescriptive EHB standard to keep the costs of health plans lower, but urges a robust, clear and prescriptive Federal EHB policy.

Seamless Access to Affordable Coverage

This HHS fact sheet gives an August 2011 update on the agencies work to help build affordable insurance exchanges.

Assessing the July 2011 HHS Exchange Regulations

This Community Catalyst fact sheet follows the release by HHS of the first round of exchange regulations in July 2011, and draws on Community Catalyst’s work to help develop state exchanges around the country. The document highlights 10 important priorities for consumers and outlines key areas that require stronger protections or clarification in the federal regulations. It was designed so that state consumer advocates could use it to review the regulations and understand what is at stake for consumers moving forward.

Health Care Reform for Refugees

This fact sheet from the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement explains the special benefits and protections in the Affordable Care Act for refugees and their eligibility to enjoy various general protections.

The ACA’s Prevention Fund in Illinois

The Affordable Care Act created a new “Prevention and Public Health Fund” to assist state and community efforts to prevent illness and promote health, so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives. This state detail shows the amounts of funding and specific projects undertaken to improve wellness and prevention in Illinois. See the national map.

Without Reform Past High Premiums Will Be the Future

This January 2011 HHS report from the Kaiser Family Foundation demonstrates that without reform health insurance premiums paid by consumers and employers would be higher in the short and long run. Under the ACA some families can save up to $14,900 a year, and tax credits will save small businesses $6 billion over two years. The full title is “Health Insurance Premiums: Past High Costs Will Become the Present and Future Without Health Reform.”

Top Three Small-Group Products by State

This December 2011 CMS document provides illustrative information to complement the bulletin on ACA essential health benefits released on December 16, 2011. It lists the products with the three largest enrollments in the small group market in each state. It also includes the top three nationally available Federal Employee Health Benefit Program plans based on enrollment.

Your Bottom Line: What Health Reform Means for Illinois Small Businesses

This presentation by the Small Business Majority, Campaign for Better Health Care and HHS lays out the key benefits of health reform for small businesses, including a competitive marketplace and immediate tax credits, and describes other immediate and longer-term benefits.

54 Million More Americans with Preventive Coverage

This February 2012 HHS issue brief details how the ACA’s preventive services health benefits are already affecting millions of lives. The act required many insurance plans (so-called ‘non-grandfathered’ plans) to provide coverage for and eliminate cost-sharing on certain recommended preventive health services for policies renewing on or after September 23, 2010.

The Value of Insurance: the Uninsured and Hospital Bills

This May 2011 ASPE research brief from HHS estimates estimates the likelihood that those without health insurance would be able to pay hospital bills. (more…)

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