Archive for Coronavirus

 

Federal Health Policy Update for Wednesday, May 5

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

The White House

COVID-19

Department of Health and Human Services

COVID-19

  • HHS has created a web page for its new COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund through which providers can be reimbursed for the cost of administering COVID-19 vaccines to the uninsured and to those whose health insurance requires a co-pay for vaccinations.  This web page offers information about how the program works and how providers can submit claims for reimbursement.
  • To support the launch of this new COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund, HHS will hold a webinar on Thursday, May 6 at 2:00 p.m. (eastern) to introduce stakeholders to what the program will do and how it will work.  Go here for further information and to register to participate.
  • HHS has announced the availability of $250 million in American Rescue Plan funds to develop and support a community-based workforce that will share information about vaccines, increase COVID-19

Federal Health Policy Update for Monday, May 3

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 3:15 p.m. on Monday, May 3.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

The White House

COVID-19

Department of Health and Human Services

COVID-19

  • HHS and its Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) have announced a new program to cover the costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines for patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or that cover them with patient cost-sharing.  Since providers cannot bill patients for COVID-19 vaccination fees, this new program, the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF), addresses an outstanding compensation need for providers.  Learn more about the program from HHS’s announcement about the new program and a new web page for the program.
  • To support the launch of this new COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund, HRSA will hold a webinar on Thursday, May 6 at 2:00 p.m. (eastern) to introduce stakeholders to what the program will do and how it will work.  Go here for further information

Federal Health Policy Update for Thursday, April 29

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 29.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

The White House

COVID-19

Health Policy News

  • Speaking before a joint session of Congress, President Biden on Wednesday night formally presented his proposed American Families Plan.  In general, the plan defers action on most health care matters to other, separate legislation, but it does call for $200 billion to permanently expand Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies and another $225 billion for paid medical leave.  The president also called on Congress to authorize the federal government to engage in some price negotiation for prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries and urged the National Institutes of Health to establish a new agency devoted to developing breakthrough cancer cures.  Go here to see a summary of the American Families Plan.

Department of Health and Human Services

Health Policy News

  • Earlier this week HHS announced the availability of $1 billion for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-Health Center Program

Federal Health Policy Update for Tuesday, April 27

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27.

The White House

COVID-19

Health Policy News

Congress

  • The New Democrat Coalition is a group of 94 mostly centrist Democrats working to bridge the gap between left and right on health care by offering proposals that seek to build on the policy infrastructure that currently exists rather than replacing it.  The coalition has written to President Biden with its list of policy recommendations that it asks him to incorporate into the American Families Plan.  Learn more about the New Democrat Coalition here and learn more about the health care policies it espouses in its recent letter to President Biden.
  • A group of 17 Democratic senators has written to President Biden asking him to pursue expansion of Medicare in his soon-to-be-unveiled American Families

Some Insurers Phasing Out Free COVID-19 Care

Some insurers that waived member costs for treatment for COVID-19 are beginning to reintroduce deductibles, co-payments, and other costs associated with treating the virus.

Waiving such costs was always voluntary and not imposed by the federal government.  As a result, insurers face no limits on the restoration of their members’ share of care costs.

Vaccines and most tests remain available without cost.

Learn more about how consumer costs for COVID-19 care came to be waived by insurers and how they are now on path to restoration for those covered by some insurers, and likely more insurers in the coming months, in the Kaiser Health News article “Time to Say Goodbye to Some Insurers’ Waivers for Covid Treatment Fees.”

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