Thursday, October 27, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

Thursday, October 27, 2022 |  Kaiser Health News

Work-based premiums remain stable for 2022, but increases are expected in the future

Also in the health insurance news: rates in Colorado and Montana, remote care of Medicaid patients, uninsured children and more.

CNN: Workplace health insurance premiums didn’t rise in 2022 amid runaway inflation, but the good times won’t last

Even as the price of gas, groceries and other essentials skyrocketed in 2022, health care premiums for employer-sponsored coverage remained essentially flat, according to a survey released Thursday. Work-based policies for families cost an average of about $22,500 in 2022, with workers contributing an average of about $6,100, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey. That’s basically the same as last year. (Luby, 10/27)

More information about health insurance coverage and rates:

KHN: Montana is moving away from the innovative hospital payment model. Other states are watching.

Montana is signaling it could move away from an innovative way of setting the prices its public employee health plan pays hospitals for services, an approach that has saved the state millions of dollars and has become a model for health plans across the country. The plan gained national renown among employers and health care pricing reform advocates when, in 2016, it set maximum amounts the health plan would pay for all inpatient and outpatient services. Those amounts were tied to Medicare reimbursement rates. Adopting that model, known as referral-based pricing, has saved the state tens of millions of dollars. Taxpayers help finance the medical plan, which insures public employees and their families, for a total of some 28,800 people. (Houghton, 10/27)

About Medicaid and Medicare:

Politician: Why is Medicaid blocking home patient monitoring?

Many state Medicaid offices are hampering the use of remote patient care, refusing coverage for low-income residents who suffer from chronic illness at higher rates than privately insured Americans, reports POLITICO’s Ruth Reader. Even as successive administrations have touted remote patient monitoring programs as a key to improving the health of Americans and reducing unnecessary government spending, many states have refused to pay for them. (Mahr, Payne, Bank and Leonard, 10/26)

Bloomberg: Some states push to limit health coverage for poor kids

About 4 million children in the US do not have health insurance. That’s about 5% of Americans ages 18 and under. The number of uninsured children declined for years, until it began to rise in the late 2010s. New research blames that shift on state policies that made it harder to get safety net coverage. That likely has useful lessons for next year. … The debate over who should be allowed to get Medicaid, the safety net insurance for low-income families, has largely been on hold since the Covid-19 pandemic. (Tozzi, 10/26)

Fierce Healthcare: CMS to restrict Medicare Advantage TV ads amid many complaints

Starting next year, insurers won’t be able to air any television ads for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans before getting approval from federal regulators. The new requirement is part of a larger effort by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to address concerns about MA’s marketing practices. The new effort, announced in a memo published Oct. 19, comes as a Senate panel is also investigating how MA plans reach customers. (King, 10/26)

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