Note: ACA Watch is an ongoing, bi-weekly series with aggregated stories and insights on the latest developments regarding the Affordable Care Act. Look out for it every other Thursday.
With less than three months before health insurance marketplaces are scheduled to go live, the Obama administration continues to implement the law despite a series of recent setbacks and delays. Although the delay of the employer mandate does not directly affect whether marketplaces can be up and running by Oct. 1, it does have implications for the law, such as employer IRS reporting on coverage offerings to determine eligibility for tax credits and subsidies. To help overcome further issues and fully implement the law on time, Chris Jennings, a former chief health policy advisor to the Clinton administration, has been hired to help lead the effort.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that although HHS has awarded around $3.7 billion to states to help establish marketplaces, only $380 million has been spent as of March 2013. Around 80 percent of that $380 million was spent on contracts and consulting, most of which went toward building information technology systems. With just three months to go until marketplaces are set for enrollment, states are likely to spend the rest of the money soon.
A special session of the Mississippi Legislature was called by Governor Phil Bryant to address the state’s expiring Medicaid program. The House voted to reauthorize the state’s existing Medicaid program after rejecting the proposed Medicaid expansion. The bill to renew the Medicaid program also eliminates a requirement to renew the program every few years. The legislation will now move to the Senate.
The Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services (CMCS) recently issued an informational bulletin on an update to the MITA Framework, Version 3.0, which had previously been issued without the eligibility and enrollment business processes and capabilities matrices. CMCS has now completed a draft supplement with those elements, which can be found in Appendices C and D in the MITA Framework, Version 3.0. The bulletin also encourages states to continue developing and submitting their MITA 3.0 State Self-Assessment in compliance with the MITA maturity levels. Read the bulletin here.