The latest articles and news from Health

  • Wisconsin health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange April 23, 2018 1:02 pm
    Wisconsin's exchange remains among the most robust in the country, with 11 insurers offering plans. But coverage is localized, and most of Northern Wisconsin has only one or two insurers in each county. The state has proposed a reinsurance program that would use federal pass-through funding to establish a reinsurance program that would stabilize premiums in the individual market in 2019.
    Michael Rickard
  • Colorado and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion April 22, 2018 4:36 pm
    Colorado expanded its Medicaid program to cover low-income adults starting in 2014, and total Medicaid/CHIP enrollment in the state has grown by 73 percent in the ensuing four years. The state rebranded their Medicaid program as Health First Colorado in 2016, and expanded access to coverage for lawfully-present pregnant women and children. Legislation calling for a work requirement and lifetime cap on Medicaid benefits failed in committee in 2018.
    Michael Rickard
  • Kansas and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion April 22, 2018 1:15 pm
    The Kansas Medicaid program — which is called KanCare — is quite limited. Income limits are lower than in many other states, and the state's program does not cover adults without dependents. But the Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill with a Medicaid expansion amendment on February 23, 2017 by a wide margin (81-44), and so did the Senate (25-13). Governor Sam Brownback vetoed it on March 30. The House of Representatives voted 81-44 on April 3 on the veto override, which was three votes shy of the number needed to successfully override Brownback's veto. For the time being, Medicaid expansion supporters in Kansas are back to the drawing board.
    Michael Rickard
  • North Carolina and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion April 21, 2018 10:09 pm
    North Carolina has not yet expanded Medicaid under the ACA, but Governor Roy Cooper, who took office in January 2017, has long pushed for expansion. The state submitted an amended to a pending 1115 waiver in 2017that included Medicaid expansion with a work requirement, but only if lawmakers approve Carolina Cares (pending legislation to expand Medicaid). As of April 2018, no progress had been made in the legislature on Carolina Cares.
    Michael Rickard
  • Health Wonk Review for April 19, 2018 April 20, 2018 6:14 pm
    Louise Norris, a frequent contributor at, has posted the latest edition of Health Wonk Review over at her own blog, the Colorado Health Insurance Insider. 
    Steve Anderson
  • Wisconsin and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion April 20, 2018 5:51 pm
    Although Wisconsin has not expanded Medicaid under the guidelines laid out in the ACA, the state's Badger Care Medicaid program does cover all legally present residents with incomes under the poverty level. Wisconsin is the only non-Medicaid-expansion state that does not have a coverage gap; all low-income residents either have access to Medicaid or subsidies to help them purchase private coverage in the exchange. The state is proposing a 48-month limit on Medicaid eligibility for adults age 19-49, but with an exemption for months that a person works at least 80 hours.
    Michael Rickard
  • Tennessee and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion April 19, 2018 1:44 pm
    Tennessee has not yet accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid (TennCare) under the ACA. Instead, Republican lawmakers are considering the possibility of imposing a work requirement on low-income parents who are eligible for TennCare.
    Michael Rickard
  • Colorado health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange April 19, 2018 11:18 am
    Colorado has a state-run exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. The state passed legislation in 2011 to create the exchange, and is among just 12 states (including DC) that are running their own exchanges and enrollment platforms for 2018 coverage. Lawmakers in Colorado are considering a bill to provide state-based premium subsidies to some enrollees, and another bill that would allow anyone to purchase a catastrophic plan.
    Louise Norris
  • Washington health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange April 19, 2018 7:22 am
    Washington runs its own exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder. Carrier participation in the exchange is fairly robust, with seven insurers offering plans for 2018. The average rate increase for 2018 was more than 36 percent, although the state will implement lower silver plan rates mid-year if CSR funding is allocated at some point during 2018.
    Louise Norris
  • Massachusetts and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion April 18, 2018 5:01 pm
    A strong Medicaid program is part of Massachusetts' tradition of making health insurance coverage widely available. However, the state's Republican governor is calling for some eligibility changes in an effort to rein in Medicaid spending.
    Michael Rickard