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.
New marketplaces meant to steer millions of uninsured Americans to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act opened for business yesterday. After a week’s long scramble by state and federal officials to iron out technical wrinkles and position thousands of outreach workers, the marketplaces are set to launch, warts and all, giving the public a first taste of the health law’s core provisions.
The day has arrived when millions of uninsured Americans have their first chance to sign up for what the Obama administration says will be high-quality, affordable health coverage. The coming months and years will show whether the ACA lives up to its aspirations. Those who sign up now, for instance, will not begin to receive benefits until January. Visit this page for details.
The Ohio Controlling Board approved $116 million for the state to receive a new Medicaid eligibility computer system. The new software is designed to implement changes needed under the ACA and the first phase being operational as of October 1st, 2013. The first phase will determine MAGI based eligibility for the Medicaid program, and by 2015 the system will also process eligibility determinations for SNAP and TANF programs. Visit this page for the full article.
Former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter and Former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, recently published an article highlighting states’ ability to create innovative solutions to rising healthcare costs and improve state economies. The article provides five recommendations for managing and improving healthcare systems in states: Governor’s skills in consensus building, leverage of state purchasing power in delivery and payment system reform, state legislatures’ power to create antitrust laws surrounding market competition, applying the administrative power to streamline current practices and expand scope of practice, and funding programs using state dollars to promote wellness and prevention of chronic disease are all options for state executives and legislatures to weigh in on health care challenges and improve the current system. Visit this page for more on the five recommendations.