A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

National Health Reform

Here it is, your moment of health care . . .

Chris Hayes of MSNBC tried to have a rational conversation about health care policy and politics. Oh well. Watch here, or click above. Read more »

Here it is, your moment of health care . . .

This week, a real-life cartoon story instead of a video. The first panel is below. Click on the cartoon or here to see the rest. Read more »

Ezra Klein's Shiny New Thing

We love that former Washington Post and friend-of-the-HCFA-blog blogger Ezra Klein's first explainer video for his new venture, Vox.com, is about health care reform. We're even happier that his 2-minute piece on the indiviudal mandate includes this graphic, highlighting Massachusetts' success in expanding coverage through reform: You can watch the whole thing above.   Read more »

Here it is, your moment of health care . . .

  We'll try to do this every Friday, OK? Click to view. Read more »

Connector Update on Temporary Coverage for People Seeking Subidized Insurance

Connector Executive Director Jean Yang called it “a backup to the backup” in a Boston Globe article about plans in process to prevents gaps or delays in coverage despite major dysfunction in the state's online eligibility and enrollment processing system. On late Friday, MassHealth and the Connector released more information about the temporary coverage plan: Read more »

HPC Committee Hears Testimony on Consumer Appeals Regulation

The Health Policy Commission’s (HPC) Quality Improvement and Patient Protection Committee held a hearing Monday on proposed amendments to 958 CMR 3.000, the Office of Patient Protection (OPP) regulation governing health plan internal and external appeals procedures.  The proposed amendments follow a listening session that OPP convened over the summer, and include consumer-friendly changes required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Massachusetts state laws, as well as changes to provide additional clarifications and protections for consumers. Read more »

Connector Board Report: Lingering Legacy, and Moving Forward

With just a few weeks before ACA coverage programs begin, the Connector Board met today to discuss website and coverage issues, vote on final regulations for student plans and the new ConnectorCare subsidized coverage program, and approve customer service and risk adjustment contract extensions. This was the final meeting under the Connector's programmatic offerings that go back to 2006's Chapter 58. Starting in January, it will be Connector 2.0, the ACA Marketplace. But, as we learned today, lots of legacy infrastructure will linger into the new year for a while longer.  Materials from the... Read more »

This Thanksgiving, We're Thankful For Health Reform

Thanksgiving is about being grateful. Here at Health Care For All, we see every day the impact Massachusetts health reform has on people all around us. We know it can work, because we've seen it work. That's why we're grateful for the ACA and national health reform. Please share this graphic far and wide: (and see this more detailed ACA Thanksgiving discussion guide by the Washington Post's Sarah Kliff) Read more »

HCFA Urges Massachusetts To Reject Extending Non-Compliant Plans (UPDATE: Admin agrees with us)

The Obama administration's decision to permit insurers to continue to offer plans they otherwise would have cancelled (here's some good place-it-in-context background from The New Republic's Jon Cohn) is still subject to state insurance market rules. Already a number of states, including Washington, Arkansas, Vermont and Rhode Island, have ruled that they will continue to insist that all new plans offered in the state comply with the consumer protections in the ACA. Note that "grandfathered" plans, in existence before the ACA was signed in 2010, were always still allowed to be offered to... Read more »

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