Insights on the ACA: Marketing the Affordable Care Act

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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.

“It will give you peace of mind. If you don’t make much money, tax credits are available. Health insurance is what the whole country has been talking about, so don’t be left out!” 

Sound like a sales pitch? Get ready for more. As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) moves from theory to reality in the coming months, states running their own health insurance marketplaces have launched ad campaigns—from Oregon’s musical ads to Connecticut’s “Get Covered” sunscreen packets—to boost enrollment numbers and promote the visibility of coverage options.


HHS Delays Signing Federal Exchange Contracts

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a two-week delay of the deadline to sign the final contracts with insurers on the federal exchanges. Concerns from health plans about the system’s ability to accurately present information about consumers’ options when enrollment begins led to the delay. HHS is now aiming to have the contracts in place by the middle of the month. The delay also pushes back when the agency will likely announce the rates that will be charged in the 34 states that opted for a federal exchange. Visit this page for more details.

State Watch

Ohio Prepares Expanded Enrollment System – Just In Case

Ohio Medicaid’s new eligibility and enrollment IT system to be deployed next month will be programmed as if the state were expanding income limits for eligibility under the ACA on Jan. 1. With some warning, the system can be modified not to accept the expanded income limits if lawmakers ultimately reject the expansion. Visit this page for more details.

Baltimore Ravens to Aid ACA Enrollment Effort in Maryland

Maryland health officials announced that they will partner with the Baltimore Ravens football team this fall to help spread the word about the state’s health insurance marketplace that will allow consumers to shop for health insurance starting in October. The partnership with the two-time Super Bowl champions is part of a broader campaign unveiled to market Maryland Health Connection that will allow consumers to shop for health insurance or sign up for Medicaid if they qualify. Visit this page for more details.

Industry Watch

CMS Issues Guidance on Shared Savings Methodologies

CMS recently published a letter to state Medicaid Directors detailing considerations for states when designing and implementing shared savings initiatives in integrated care models. The letter focuses on potential program designs for reimbursement methodologies that encourage improved quality of care and reduce costs by sharing program savings with providers that meet program requirements. Visit this page for the full letter.