ACHP Media Monitoring Report: May 11, 2017

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ACHP Plans in the News: Geisinger joins forces with Highmark
Geisinger Health System is teaming up with Highmark Inc. to create a clinical joint venture serving north central Pennsylvania. The organizations recently signed a letter of intent and plan to develop a new clinical network model.

CBO score planned for week of May 22
The Congressional Budget Office will issue its report on the Republican health care bill the week of May 22. The analysis is expected to provide an estimate of the number of uninsured Americans under the GOP bill as well as projections for premium rates. In an analysis of an earlier version of the bill, CBO found that about 24 million more people would lose health insurance by 2026. The new CBO score will take into account the amendment by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), which allows states to opt out of ACA provisions.

Aetna withdraws completely from ACA individual marketplace
Aetna has announced it will no longer offer any plans on ACA exchanges in 2018, citing mounting losses and instability in the marketplace. Aetna has pared back its participation in the individual market over the past few years and was only considering participation in two states: Delaware and Nebraska. Its withdrawal has left Delaware with one insurer, and currently no other insurer has announced plans to participate in Nebraska.

Medicaid rule for home-based patients pushed back
CMS has pushed back a deadline that requires state Medicaid programs to provide greater help to elderly and disabled people outside of nursing homes from 2018 to 2022. The rule aims to provide elderly and disabled people more flexibility and control over their life by relaxing restrictions on housing choice, providing opportunities for community engagement and providing more financial freedom. Medicaid directors applauded the decision, saying the original timeframe would have had an adverse effect on participants and it would have been difficult to implement.

Tax cuts are unresolved issue in GOP health bill
The House-passed health care bill includes a provision that makes this past January 1 the effective date for tax cuts on health insurers and pharmaceutical companies, but Republican Senators are not committed to the provision. The tax cuts would apply to ACA taxes created in 2010. The Senate could either decide to keep some of the taxes to pay for continuing the ACA’s coverage expansion or choose to repeal the taxes but delay the effective dates.