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We live in unprecedented times purchase levitra canada. But what makes them without parallel is not the current pandemic crisis nor the continued problems facing minorities in our institutions. Rather, it’s that for the first time, the problems of accessibility, rights and freedoms are purchase levitra canada now invading privileged spaces. There can be no ‘getting back to normal’, because ‘normal’ only ever benefited the white, Western, patriarchal, abled and cis ideals. For many, the world is purchase levitra canada not suddenly on fire.

It has long been burning.The present pandemic lays bare systemic prejudice against the most vulnerable among us. We at Medical Humanities, with our focus on global health and social justice, welcome discussion about how the crisis has disproportionately affected racial and fiscal minorities, those from the disabled community, those who are LGBTQA+ and other vulnerable groups. What we focus purchase levitra canada on here, now, can lead to greater accessibility and equity in the future.In this expanded issue, we offer some of the incredible work being done across the field of medical humanities prior to the COVID-19 crisis, and we are already reviewing articles on the role of health humanities during the pandemic. The process of academic publishing tends not to lend itself to immediacy, however, and the challenges of pandemic means greater pressure on everyone, from the authors to the reviewers and readers.To remedy this, we at Medical Humanities have been increasing the work on our blog platform, a place where content can be quickly updated, and where conversations can occur among readers and writers. We openly invite submissions concerning the virus, as well as topics relevant to our wider CFP (call for posts/papers) this purchase levitra canada year on social justice and health, to both blog and journal.

We will do our best to expedite. Finally, we have also been addressing social justice purchase levitra canada and access in our podcast, where we interviewed disability activist Alice Wong and most recently Dr Oni Blackstock, primary care physician and HIV specialist in New York. We hope to have many more on these critical subjects.We wish all of you good health and safety and know that many of you are yet on the front lines. Thank you for being part of the community of Medical Humanities..

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A team of scientists at Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have developed a way to more accurately both detect and monitor a common type cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra of pediatric brain cancer, setting the stage for giving clinicians a real-time view into how the cancer responds to treatment.Medulloblastoma (MB), the most common pediatric brain tumor, is currently diagnosed based on clinical symptoms, examination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and tumor biopsies. It is then monitored through routine MRIs to measure physical changes in the tumor. Clinicians also perform repeated lumbar punctures, commonly known as spinal taps, to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that is tested for the presence of tumor cells."If there are no tumor cells in the CSF, clinicians likely believe their treatment is effective and continue cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra the course. However, there is often inconsistency between the CSF test results and the patient's final outcome," said Jia Li, PhD, research assistant professor in the Center for Epigenetics &. Disease Prevention (CEDP) at the Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology, cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra and the first author of the study, published in Science Advances.

"Therefore, it is highly desirable to have a more sensitive way to systematically estimate and monitor the tumor response after treatment and, at the same time, confidently detect tumor recurrence before there is evident anatomical changes in the tumor seen through MRI or CT scans."In other words, clinicians want to be able to monitor the state of the tumor in patients so they can intervene at the earliest possible time if there is evidence that the tumor has recurred or is starting to grow aggressively again. Liquid biopsy -- the method of detecting cancer DNA or other disease biomarkers in body fluids like blood -- is increasingly being used to monitor adult cancers such as cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra colorectal cancer and breast cancer. This technique is a relatively non-invasive way to assess cancer progression, response to therapy and recurrence. The current technology cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra detects gene mutations associated with cancer within plasma. However, this approach is more challenging for pediatric brain cancers because these cancers often have very few mutations.

According to the researchers, they can be described cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra as being "genetically bland," meaning they don't harbor huge numbers of mutations to the DNA itself.Instead, pediatric brain tumors frequently have epigenetic changes. In other words, instead of the DNA itself being changed by mutation, in the cancer cells, certain critical genes are turned on or turned off by epigenetic changes that regulate their activity. The presence of epigenetic abnormalities in pediatric brain cancers led the research team to reason cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra that epigenetic markers in biological fluids such as CSF could be an effective way to detect and monitor these types of cancers.The other problem with using liquid biopsy for pediatric brain cancer is that brain tumor DNA is scarcely detectable in plasma because of the blood-brain barrier, which prevents brain tumor DNA from being released into the blood stream. In contrast, CSF interacts with brain tumor cells in the central nervous system and can be used for liquid biopsy. However, CSF contains cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra extremely low amounts of DNA, making it difficult to study.Li, along with Yun Nancy Huang, PhD, MS, and Deqiang Sun, PhD, developed a new method to get around this issue and successfully profiled DNA methylation genome-wide from very low amounts of DNA in CSF.

They used CSF samples obtained from a biobank built by physicians at Texas Children's Hospital over the course of 20 years. "Tumor cells in cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra the CSF degrade during circulation, but DNA lasts much longer than cells, and so cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) can be found in the biobank samples," said Huang, who is an associate professor in the CEDP and a co-corresponding author of this study.The researchers developed an experimental and computational method for analyzing this DNA. Their results revealed that the epigenetic marker, DNA methylation, can be detected in ctDNA from CSF, serving as a potential biomarker to report the status of the MB tumor and allow for prognosis."This is essentially a completely novel way of detecting DNA methylation in circulating DNA and using it for biomarker detection and quantitation in childhood cancer," said Peter Davies, MD, PhD, professor at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine and director of the Center for Translational Cancer Research at the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, and co-author of the study.Eventually, this research will lead to development of a biomarker kit that clinicians will be able to use for monitoring pediatric brain tumor patients. Many steps lay ahead toward that end, but these findings have generated much interest from physicians and show promise for clinical application."The biobank built by physicians at Texas Children's Hospital is an invaluable resource," Davies cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra said. "All the samples were donated by patients with informed consent, and ultimately, it's the willingness of patients and their families to allow their samples to be stored for future research that makes this kind of work possible.""This is a classic example of using 'team science' to answer really important questions that couldn't be done without bringing together unique expertise," said CEDP Director Roderick Dashwood, PhD, FRSB, professor at the College of Medicine, and co-author of the study.

"We have unique cialis levitra staxyn stendra and viagra expertise in the Texas Medical Center, but you need to bring these outstanding people together. That includes physicians, bioinformaticians and epigenetic experts. Those individuals are often located at different institutions, but we're bringing them all together to address very important questions for clinical translation.".

A team of purchase levitra canada scientists at Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have developed a way to more accurately https://www.voiture-et-handicap.fr/how-much-does-levitra-cost-at-walgreens/ both detect and monitor a common type of pediatric brain cancer, setting the stage for giving clinicians a real-time view into how the cancer responds to treatment.Medulloblastoma (MB), the most common pediatric brain tumor, is currently diagnosed based on clinical symptoms, examination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and tumor biopsies. It is then monitored through routine MRIs to measure physical changes in the tumor. Clinicians also perform repeated lumbar punctures, commonly known as spinal taps, to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that is tested for the presence of tumor cells."If there are no tumor cells in the CSF, clinicians purchase levitra canada likely believe their treatment is effective and continue the course. However, there is often inconsistency between the CSF test results and the patient's final outcome," said Jia Li, PhD, research assistant professor in the Center for Epigenetics &.

Disease Prevention (CEDP) at the Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology, and the purchase levitra canada first author of the study, published in Science Advances. "Therefore, it is highly desirable to have a more sensitive way to systematically estimate and monitor the tumor response after treatment and, at the same time, confidently detect tumor recurrence before there is evident anatomical changes in the tumor seen through MRI or CT scans."In other words, clinicians want to be able to monitor the state of the tumor in patients so they can intervene at the earliest possible time if there is evidence that the tumor has recurred or is starting to grow aggressively again. Liquid biopsy -- the method of detecting cancer DNA or other disease biomarkers in body fluids like blood -- is increasingly being used to monitor adult cancers such as colorectal purchase levitra canada cancer and breast cancer. This technique is a relatively non-invasive way to assess cancer progression, response to therapy and recurrence.

The current technology detects gene mutations associated purchase levitra canada with cancer within plasma. However, this approach is more challenging for pediatric brain cancers because these cancers often have very few mutations. According to the researchers, they can be described as being "genetically bland," meaning they don't harbor huge numbers of mutations to purchase levitra canada the DNA itself.Instead, pediatric brain tumors frequently have epigenetic changes. In other words, instead of the DNA itself being changed by mutation, in the cancer cells, certain critical genes are turned on or turned off by epigenetic changes that regulate their activity.

The presence of epigenetic abnormalities in pediatric brain cancers led the research team to reason that epigenetic markers in biological fluids such as CSF could be an effective way purchase levitra canada to detect and monitor these types of cancers.The other problem with using liquid biopsy for pediatric brain cancer is that brain tumor DNA is scarcely detectable in plasma because of the blood-brain barrier, which prevents brain tumor DNA from being released into the blood stream. In contrast, CSF interacts with brain tumor cells in the central nervous system and can be used for liquid biopsy. However, CSF contains extremely low amounts of DNA, making it difficult to study.Li, along purchase levitra canada with Yun Nancy Huang, PhD, MS, and Deqiang Sun, PhD, developed a new method to get around this issue and successfully profiled DNA methylation genome-wide from very low amounts of DNA in CSF. They used CSF samples obtained from a biobank built by physicians at Texas Children's Hospital over the course of 20 years.

"Tumor cells in the CSF degrade during circulation, but DNA lasts much longer than cells, and so cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) can be found in the biobank samples," said Huang, who is an purchase levitra canada associate professor in the CEDP and a co-corresponding author of this study.The researchers developed an experimental and computational method for analyzing this DNA. Their results revealed that the epigenetic marker, DNA methylation, can be detected in ctDNA from CSF, serving as a potential biomarker to report the status of the MB tumor and allow for prognosis."This is essentially a completely novel way of detecting DNA methylation in circulating DNA and using it for biomarker detection and quantitation in childhood cancer," said Peter Davies, MD, PhD, professor at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine and director of the Center for Translational Cancer Research at the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, and co-author of the study.Eventually, this research will lead to development of a biomarker kit that clinicians will be able to use for monitoring pediatric brain tumor patients. Many steps lay ahead toward that end, but purchase levitra canada these findings have generated much interest from physicians and show promise for clinical application."The biobank built by physicians at Texas Children's Hospital is an invaluable resource," Davies said. "All the samples were donated by patients with informed consent, and ultimately, it's the willingness of patients and their families to allow their samples to be stored for future research that makes this kind of work possible.""This is a classic example of using 'team science' to answer really important questions that couldn't be done without bringing together unique expertise," said CEDP Director Roderick Dashwood, PhD, FRSB, professor at the College of Medicine, and co-author of the study.

"We have unique expertise in the Texas Medical Center, but you need purchase levitra canada to bring these outstanding people together. That includes physicians, bioinformaticians and epigenetic experts. Those individuals are often located at different institutions, but we're bringing them all together to address very important questions for clinical translation.".

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The first stages of placental development take place days before the embryo starts to form in human levitra photo pregnancies. The finding highlights the importance of healthy placental development in pregnancy, and could lead to future improvements in fertility treatments such as IVF, and a better understanding of placental-related diseases in pregnancy.In a study published in the journal Nature, researchers looked at the biological pathways active in human embryos during their first few days of development to understand how cells acquire different fates and functions within the early embryo.They observed that shortly after fertilisation as cells start to divide, some cells start to stick together. This triggers a levitra photo cascade of molecular events that initiate placental development.

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The first stages of placental development take place days before the purchase levitra canada embryo starts to other form in human pregnancies. The finding highlights the importance of healthy placental development in pregnancy, and could lead to future improvements in fertility treatments such as IVF, and a better understanding of placental-related diseases in pregnancy.In a study published in the journal Nature, researchers looked at the biological pathways active in human embryos during their first few days of development to understand how cells acquire different fates and functions within the early embryo.They observed that shortly after fertilisation as cells start to divide, some cells start to stick together. This triggers a cascade of molecular events purchase levitra canada that initiate placental development. A subset of cells change shape, or 'polarise', and this drives the change into a placental progenitor cell -- the precursor to a specialised placenta cell -- that can be distinguished by differences in genes and proteins from other cells in the embryo."This study highlights the critical importance of the placenta for healthy human development," said Dr Kathy Niakan, group leader of the Human Embryo and Stem Cell Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute and Professor of Reproductive Physiology at the University of Cambridge, and senior author of the study.Niakan added. "If the molecular mechanism we discovered for this first cell decision in humans is not appropriately established, this will have significant negative consequences for the purchase levitra canada development of the embryo and its ability to successfully implant in the womb."The team also examined the same developmental pathways in mouse and cow embryos.

They found that while the mechanisms of later stages of development differ between species, the placental progenitor is still the first cell to differentiate."We've shown that one of the earliest cell decisions during development is widespread in mammals, and this will help form the basis of future developmental research. Next we must further interrogate these pathways to identify biomarkers and facilitate healthy placental development in people, and also cows or other domestic animals," said Claudia Gerri, lead author of the study and postdoctoral training fellow in the Human Embryo and Stem Cell Laboratory at the purchase levitra canada Francis Crick Institute.During IVF, one of the most significant predictors of an embryo implanting in the womb is the appearance of placental progenitor cells under the microscope. If researchers could identify better markers of placental health or find ways to improve it, this could make a difference for people struggling to conceive."Understanding the process of early human development in the womb could provide us with insights that may lead to improvements in IVF success rates in the future. It could also allow us to understand early placental dysfunctions that can pose a risk to purchase levitra canada human health later in pregnancy," said Niakan. Story Source.

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But reinsurance also reduced funding for MinnesotaCare.The elimination of CSR funding further reduced MinnesotaCare funding, but levitra 20mg precio usa this has been partly restored by a court ruling.MN provided premium relief for non-subsidy-eligible enrollees for 2017 only.Governor vetoed a proposed 2019 switch to HealthCare.gov.MNsure’s small business exchange no longer has any participating insurers.Minnesota health exchange overviewMinnesota’s one of the states fighting the hardest to preserve the Affordable Care Act’s gains. See actions Minnesota has taken.Minnesota’s state-run exchange, MNsure, has five participating insurers for 2021, up from four in 2020. The exchange has more than 117,000 individual market levitra 20mg precio usa enrollees as of 2020.As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, MNsure joined most of the other state-run exchanges in offering a special enrollment period during which people who were uninsured could enroll in a health plan. MNsure’s special enrollment period began March 23, and continued through April 21. Nearly 9,500 Minnesota residents enrolled in private plans through MNsure during this window, as well as another 13,700 who enrolled in MinnesotaCare or Medicaid (enrollment in those programs is open year-round for eligible residents).Allison O’Toole, who led MNsure levitra 20mg precio usa as CEO for three years, announced her resignation in March 2018, and the exchange named Nate Clark, the MNsure COO, as acting CEO.

A few months later, the MNsure board named Clark as the permanent CEO. O’Toole left MNsure to work as director of state affairs for United States of Care, a non-profit created by Andy Slavitt, levitra 20mg precio usa who was the acting administrator of CMS under the Obama Administration.Throughout 2017, Minnesotans who bought their own health insurance (on or off-exchange) and weren’t eligible for ACA subsidies were provided with 25 percent premium rebates from the state as a result of S.F.1, signed into law by Governor Dayton in early 2017. The subsidies helped to offset the large premium increases that applied in Minnesota in 2017, and helped to stabilize the individual health insurance market in 2017. But the premium rebate program expired at the end of 2017.Thanks in large part to the new reinsurance program that Minnesota created (details below), premiums decreased in Minnesota’s individual market in 2018, 2019, and again in levitra 20mg precio usa 2020, although rates are increasing modestly for 2021. In May 2019, Minnesota leaders reached an agreement on a budget that included an extension of the reinsurance program through 2020 and 2021 (it has already been granted federal approval through the end of 2022, but the state has to continue to cover its share of the cost.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz had hoped to implement a premium subsidy program levitra 20mg precio usa and a new tax credit in Minnesota starting in 2020. But a compromise in the budget ended up with the state opting to continue the existing reinsurance program for two more years instead.).But the waiver that provides federal pass-through funding for reinsurance also resulted in a sharp and unexpected decrease in federal funding for MinnesotaCare, the Basic Health Program that provides coverage for people with income between 138 percent and 200 percent of the poverty level (between $16,642 and $24,120 for a single person).In addition, the elimination of federal funding for cost-sharing reductions (CSR) in October 2018 resulted in a funding cut for MinnesotaCare, since the program is funded in large part by federal funds that would otherwise have been used to pay for premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions in the exchange for the population that is instead eligible for MinnesotaCare. After an ensuing legal battle, a judge ordered HHS to restore funding for MinnesotaCare, although a resolution levitra 20mg precio usa of the situation is ongoing, and the amount that HHS agreed to pay was still less than MinnesotaCare would have received if CSR funding had continued.Open enrollment for 2021 health plans extended through December 22, 2020. Insurers implementing modest rate increases for 2021, after three years of overall rate decreasesMNsure enabled window shopping for 2021 health plans as of October 12, 2020. This gives residents a few weeks to browse levitra 20mg precio usa the available plans before open enrollment starts on November 1, 2020.

And MNsure has announced that open enrollment will continue through December 22, 2020. That’s a week levitra 20mg precio usa longer than the open enrollment period that will apply in states that use the federally-run exchange. The flexibility to extend open enrollment is often cited as one of the benefits of having a fully state-run exchange. (MNsure had levitra 20mg precio usa a similar extension last December, for 2020 health plans).For 2021, Quartz is joining the Minnesota marketplace. Quartz currently offers plans in Illinois and Wisconsin, and is expanding into Minnesota for 2021.

And two of the existing insurers — HealthPartners and UCare — are expanding their coverage areas for 2021 (BluePlus and Medica offer coverage statewide, and will continue to do so levitra 20mg precio usa in 2021).The following average rate changes have been approved for MNsure’s insurers:Blue Plus. 4.21 percent increase (down from levitra 20mg precio usa an initially proposed 7.12 percent increase)Group Health/Health Partners (GHI). 0.67 percent increase (down from an initially proposed 4.15 percent increase)Medica. 2.42 percent levitra 20mg precio usa increase (down from an initially proposed 7.06 percent increase)UCare. 1.6 percent increase (up from an initially proposed 1.39 percent decrease)Quartz.

New for 2021, so no applicable rate changePreferredOne Insurance Company, which levitra 20mg precio usa offers plans outside the exchange, is increasing premiums by 1.05 percent (down from an initially proposed average increase of 5.09 percent). Rate changes in previous years2015. Average increase of 4.5 levitra 20mg precio usa percent. MNsure critics characterized the official announcement as misleading as it failed to take into account low-cost 2014 plans from PreferredOne. Consumers who bought a PreferredOne plan through MNsure levitra 20mg precio usa for 2014 could only renew their policies for 2015 by working directly with the insurer, since PreferredOne stopped offering plans in the exchange at the end of 2014.

However, PreferredOne rates went up an average of 63 percent, and consumers didn’t qualify for subsidies if they shopped outside the exchange. 2016. Average increase of 41.4 percent for the individual market, and about 38.5 for plans sold in MNsure (ie, not counting PreferredOne). Rates increased significantly in 2016 across the entire individual market in Minnesota — including plans sold through MNsure, the state-run exchange.Approved rates for 2016 were announced on October 1, 2015, ranging from about 15 percent for Medica to 49 percent for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. In general, the carriers cited higher-than-expected claims costs over the past year, along with the impending phase-out of the ACA’s reinsurance program as justification for their 2016 rate requests.

But Governor Mark Dayton called some of the higher proposed increases “outrageous,” and promised a rigorous review of the filed rate changes and justifications. Ultimately, regulators were able to limit the highest rate increases to 49 percent — as opposed to the 54 percent that had been requested by Blue Plus and BCBS of MN — but the final weighted average rate increase in the individual market in Minnesota still ended up being the highest in the nation. But Minnesota still had the lowest overall premiums in the upper midwest (although Minnesota had the highest average rate increase in the country for 2016, they had the lowest overall rates in the country in 2014 and 2015).Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman called the rate increases “unacceptably high,” and Gov. Dayton noted that he was “extremely unhappy” with the rate changes. But Rothman noted that his office “objected to all of the rates across the board,” and “squeezed out everything we could that was not actuarial justified.” In other words, the final rates, although much higher than officials and policyholders would have liked, were justified based on medical claims costs — the population enrolled in individual health plans in Minnesota was sicker than expected, and drug costs had been particularly onerous.Only about 55 percent of people who had 2015 coverage through MNsure received premium subsidies.

But due to the sharp premium increases, that had increased to about 63 percent for the people who had purchased or renewed coverage as of June 2016.2017. When the Minnesota Department of Commerce announced health insurance rates for 2017 for the individual and small group markets, the rate hikes were somewhat reasonable in the small group market (ranging from a decrease of 1 percent to an increase of 17.8 percent), but the individual market was “experiencing serious disruptions in 2017” and “on the verge of collapse.” The four carriers that offered plans through MNsure had the following average rate increases in 2017:Blue Plus = 55 percentHealthPartners/Group Health (GHI) = 50 percent (HealthPartners is only offering plans in 10 of the 67 counties where they offered plans in 2016. Their enrollment cap is 72,000 for 2017)Medica = 57.5 percent (enrollment cap is 50,000 for 2017)UCare = 66.8 percent (UCare capped enrollment at 30,000 for 2017, but only had 16,000 enrollees in 2016)The enrollment caps that HealthPartners, Medica, and UCare employed for 2017 were approved as part of the rate review process, and are designed to protect carriers from further financial losses as they absorb BCBSMN’s enrollees who are shopping for new coverage during open enrollment.In a news release relating to the rate announcement for 2017, the Minnesota Department of Commerce didn’t mince words. They noted that the individual market in the state was on the brink of collapse, and that they did everything in their power to save the market. While they succeeded in keeping the state’s individual market viable for 2017, with only one carrier exiting (BCBSMN, although their HMO affiliate, Blue Plus, remained in the exchange), they reiterated very clearly that substantial reforms would be needed to keep the market stable in future years, and highlighted the fact that rates would be sharply higher and that carriers would limit enrollment in 2017.2018.

Final rates for 2018 were approved in October 2017 (comprehensive information about the approved rates is here), based on the Minnesota Premium Security Plan (MSPS) being implemented but cost-sharing reductions (CSR) not being funded by the federal government (the cost of CSRs was added to on-exchange Silver plans). Average approved rate changes for MNsure insurers ranged from a 13.3 percent decrease for UCare to a 2.8 percent increase for Blue Plus. Three of the four MNsure insurers decreased their average premiums for 2018.On September 21, MNsure had posted a notice indicating that if the reinsurance program were not approved, rates would be about 20 percent higher than they would otherwise be in 2018. Fortunately for Minnesota residents, the reinsurance program did receive federal approval, and average rates declined slightly for 2018.But some enrollees who don’t get ACA premium subsidies still experienced a rate increase, due to the termination of the one-year, state-funded 25 percent premium rebates at the end of 2017.PreferredOne, which exited MNsure at the end of 2014 and only offers coverage in the off-exchange market, proposed dramatically lower rates for 2018. A 38 percent average decrease if MSPS were to be approved, and a 23 percent average decrease if not.

The 38 percent decrease was implemented, and no adjustments were necessary to account for CSR funding, since PreferredOne does not offer plans in the exchange, and CSRs are only available on silver exchange plans.2019. Average premium decrease of 12.4 percent. Average premiums dropped for all five insurers in the individual market in 2019. This was the second year in a row of declining rates in Minnesota, but Blue Plus had a small rate increase for 2018, so 2019 was the first year that all five insurers decreased their average rates. Minnesota insurance regulators noted that rates in 2019 were about 20 percent lower than they would have been without the reinsurance program.But most of Minnesota’s insurers charged higher rates in 2019 than they would have if the individual mandate penalty hadn’t been eliminated, and if access to short-term plans and association health plans hadn’t been expanded by the Trump administration.

For example, UCare’s rate filing notes that while average rates were decreasing by about 10 percent, the rate decrease would have been nearly 15 percent if the individual mandate penalty had remained in place.At ACA Signups, Charles Gaba calculated a weighted average rate decrease of 12.4 percent for 2019 in Minnesota, but noted that the average decrease would have been nearly 19 percent without those changes at the federal level.2020. Average premium decrease of 1 percent. Four of the five insurers (including PreferredOne, which only offers coverage off-exchange) in Minnesota’s individual market decreased their average premiums for 2020. This was the third year in a row that average individual market premiums dropped in Minnesota’s individual market, due in large part to the reinsurance program that the state has established.The following average rate changes were implemented for 2020:Blue Plus. 1.5 percent decrease (Blue Plus had originally proposed a 4.8 percent increase)Group Health/Health Partners (GHI).

1.26 percent decrease (GHI had originally proposed a 2.1 percent increase)Medica. 1.01 percent decrease (Medica had originally proposed an average decrease of 1.4 percent)UCare. 0.18 percent increase (UCare originally proposed a 0.3 percent increase)PreferredOne, which only offers off-exchange coverage, reduced their rates by an average of 20 percent, on the heels of an 11 percent decrease in 2019. MNsure enrollment exceeded 116k in 2018, dropped to 113k for 2019, but grew to more than 1117k in 2020From 2014 through 2018, enrollment in MNsure’s individual market plans increased every year, reaching 116,358 people by 2018. That was the highest open enrollment total in MNsure’s history, despite the shorter enrollment period, which ended in mid-January instead of the end of January (open enrollment for 2018 coverage ended on December 15, 2017 in states that use HealthCare.gov, but MNsure opted to extend their enrollment window that year, and have also extended subsequent enrollment windows).Enrollment dropped for the first time in 2019, when 113,552 people enrolled in individual market plans through MNsure.

In most states that use HealthCare.gov, enrollment peaked in 2016 and has been dropping since then. But MNsure’s drop-off in 2019, which amounted to only a 2.4 percent reduction in enrollment, is the only time year-over-year enrollment has declined. Notably, the ACA’s individual mandate penalty was eliminated as of 2019, and regulations that the Trump administration implemented in late 2018 now make it more feasible for healthy people to use short-term plans instead of ACA-compliant plans (Minnesota has its own rules for short-term plans, but they’re more relaxed than the Obama-era federal rules that applied in 2017 and most of 2018).And for 2020, enrollment grew again, reaching a record high of 117,520 enrollees.Here’s a look at the number of people who have signed up for individual market plans through MNsure during each year’s open enrollment period. These numbers all represent total enrollment at the end of open enrollment. Effectuated enrollment is always lower, and MNsure provides periodic effectuated enrollment data on their board meeting materials page.

Insurer participation in MNsure. 2014-20212014. Five insurers offered individual policies through MNsure for 2014. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners/Group Health, Medica, PreferredOne, and UCare. Kaiser Health News reported that Minnesota offered some of the lowest premiums for silver (mid-level) plans in the U.S.

Four of Minnesota’s nine regions made Kaiser’s list of the 10 least expensive places to buy health insurance.2015. But PreferredOne, which offered the lowest rates in the nation in 2014 and captured a large portion of 2014 enrollees, withdrew from MNsure for 2015. PreferredOne said remaining on the exchange was “not administratively and financially sustainable.” A Star Tribune business writer attributed PreferredOne’s departure as a market dynamics issue rather than a problem with MNsure.However, Blue Plus (an affiliate of Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN, offering HMO plans) joined the exchange for 2015, so there were still five insurers offering plans for 2015. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Blue Plus, Health Partners/Group Health, Medica, and UCare. MNsure offered 84 plans statewide, up from 78 for 2014.2016.

BCBSMN, Blue Plus, Health Partners/Group Health, Medica, and UCare offered individual market plans through MNsure for 2016.2017. In an effort to recruit more carriers to offer plans through MNsure for 2017 — particularly outside the Twin Cities metro area — state regulators sent out a request for proposals from health insurers on August 15, 2016. Regulators noted that insurers could propose waivers of regulations in order to make it feasible for them to offer coverage through MNsure, although any such waiver requests would have to be approved by regulators.Steven Parente, a health insurance expert at the University of Minnesota, called the state’s effort to recruit insurers to MNsure a “distress call” and noted that August 15 is awfully late in the year to be putting out a request for insurer participation, given that open enrollment begins November 1. And ultimately, no new insurers opted to join MNsure for 2017.Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN dropped their individual market PPO plans at the end of 2016 due to significant financial losses. That left Blue Plus (which offered HMOs and covered roughly 13,000 people in 2016 in the individual market) as the only BCBSMN affiliate in the exchange.

Roughly 103,000 people had to select new plans during open enrollment.Most of those BCBSMN enrollees had off-exchange coverage, though. There were only about 20,400 MNsure enrollees (a little more than one in five MNsure enrollees) with coverage under BCBSMN who needed to switch to another plan during open enrollment. BCBSMN had individual PPO options available in all 87 counties in Minnesota through MNsure in 2016, while the Blue Plus coverage area — comprised of four separate HMO networks — was available in 77 of the state’s counties.Nationwide, carriers have been shifting away from PPOs and towards HMOs and EPOs. In Colorado, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield also dropped their PPOs at the end of 2016. In Indiana, there were no PPOs available in the individual market by 2017.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico dropped all of their individual market plans at the end of 2015 except one off-exchange HMO. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas dropped their individual market PPO plans at the end of 2015.The broad network offered by PPOs tends to be attractive to enrollees who have health problems. They’re often willing to pay higher premiums in trade for access to broad network of hospitals and specialists. But PPOs are expensive for carriers, as enrollees don’t need primary care referrals to see specialists, and it’s more challenging for carriers to hold down costs when there are more providers in the network.All of the MNsure carriers except Blue Plus are also limiting their total enrollment for 2017. By November 11, 2016, less than two weeks into open enrollment for 2017 coverage, Medica had hit their 50,000 member enrollment cap for 2017 (including on and off-exchange enrollments, and also accounting for expected renewals of 2016 Medica plans), and their policies were no longer available in the individual market in Minnesota, on or off-exchange.

The only exception was five counties (Benton, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Morrison, and Stearns) where Medica agreed not to limit enrollment, as all of the other available carriers in those counties have imposed enrollment caps too. In those five counties, Medica plans continued to be available.At that point, Medica’s market share in MNsure for 2017 stood at 34.2 percent. By December 14, Medica’s market share had dropped to 27.7 percent, as enrollments had continued to climb for the remaining carriers.On January 31, Medica re-opened enrollment for 2017. This was because a smaller-than-expected number of 2016 Medica enrollees renewed their plans for 2017, meaning that the carrier still had some wiggle room under their 50,000 member cap. At that point, they had room for about 7,000 more enrollees.

Medica plans were thus available throughout the duration of the special enrollment period that was added on at the end of open enrollment, and continue to be available for people with qualifying events.2018. Plans continued to be available from Blue Plus, Health Partners/Group Health (GHI), Medica, UCare. In the months before a decision was reached regarding an extension of the open enrollment window for 2018 plans (the first year that the federal government imposed a shorter, month-and-a-half enrollment window), two of MNsure’s participating insurers had differing positions. UCare believed the exchange should add an additional two-week special enrollment period, while Medica did not want the exchange to have the option to extend the newly-scheduled six-week enrollment window. Notably, Medica capped their enrollment very early during the 2017 open enrollment period, and while UCare also had an enrollment cap, it was set with a target of nearly doubling their 2016 enrollment.

But Medica is the only MNsure insurer that didn’t set an enrollment cap for 2018.As was the case for 2017, enrollment caps were used in the individual market in Minnesota for 2018 by all insurers other than Medica (Medica did have an enrollment cap for 2017, which they hit very early in open enrollment. However, they resumed enrollments at the end of January 2017). Details about the insurers’ enrollment caps are in the plan binders in SERFF. For 2018, MNsure insurers implemented the following enrollment caps:Blue Plus. 55,000 member cap (aiming for a target of 50,000 effectuated enrollees, but effectuated enrollment is always lower than the number of people who initially enroll)Health Partners/Group Health (GHI).

73,400 member cap (aiming for a target of 70,000 effectuated enrollees)Medica. No enrollment capUCare. 35,000 member cap (aiming for a target of 30,000 effectuated enrollees)MNsure confirmed in May 2018 that none of their insurers had hit their enrollment caps for 2018.Outside the exchange, PreferredOne had an enrollment cap of 3,000 members, although their 2017 membership was only about 300 people.2019 and 2020. Blue Plus, Health Partners/Group Health, UCare, and Medica have continued to offer plans through MNsure, and all of them continued to participate in 2020 as well. Blue Plus expanded to once again offer statewide coverage in 2020, for the first time since 2016.2021.

Quartz joined the exchange for 2021, joining the four existing insurers. HealthPartners and UCare are both expanding their coverage areas for 2021.Minnesota Premium Security Plan. 1332 waiver proposal approved by CMS, but with a significant funding cut for MinnesotaCareIn May 2017, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton submitted a 1332 waiver proposal to CMS. The 1332 waiver was based on H.F.5, which was enacted without Dayton’s signature in April 2017 (Dayton had proposed an alternative measure that would have allowed people in Minnesota to buy into MinnesotaCare. That measure was not able to pass the state’s Republican-dominated legislature).[For more than two decades, MinnesotaCare was a state program subsidizing health insurance for low-income residents.

As of January 1, 2015, it transitioned to a Basic Health Program under the ACA, becoming the first BHP in the nation.]H.F.5 created the Minnesota Premium Security Plan (MPSP), which is a state-based reinsurance program (similar to the one the ACA implemented on a temporary basis through 2016, and that Alaska created for 2017. Several other https://www.voiture-et-handicap.fr/levitra-discount-code/ states have since implemented reinsurance programs). The reinsurance program, which took effect in Minnesota in 2018, covers a portion of the claims that insurers face, resulting in lower total claims costs for the insurers, and thus lower premiums (average individual market premiums in Minnesota decreased from 2017 to 2018 as a result of the reinsurance program). The reinsurance kicks in once claims reach $50,000, and covers them at 80 percent up to $250,000 (this is similar to the coverage under the transitional reinsurance program that the ACA provided from 2014 through 2016).H.F.5 was contingent upon approval of the 1332 waiver, because it relies partially on federal funding, in addition to state funding. Under the federal approval that was granted in September 2017, the federal government is giving Minnesota the money that they save on premium tax credits, and that money is combined with state funds to implement the reinsurance program (lower premiums — as a result of the reinsurance program — result in the federal government having to pay a smaller total amount of premium tax credits, since the tax credits are smaller when premiums are smaller).It was expected that CMS would approve the state’s 1332 waiver proposal, and Governor Dayton requested that the approval process be swift so that the state could move forward with the implementation of the Minnesota Premium Security Plan in time for the 2018 plan year.

Dayton indicated that his office had been told that approval would come in August 2017, but CMS didn’t approve the waiver until September 22. And the waiver approval letter noted that the federal savings for MinnesotaCare (the state’s Basic Health Program, or BHP) resulting from the reinsurance program would not be eligible to be passed along to the state — in other words, CMS would keep those savings instead.[Federal BHP funding is equal to 95 percent of the amount that the federal government would have otherwise spent on premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions for the population that ends up being eligible for the BHP. So lower premiums — as a result of reinsurance — for qualified health plans in the exchange means that the amount the federal government would have had to spend on premium subsidies for that population is lower. That translates into a smaller amount of funding for the state’s BHP, according to the approach that HHS took for Minnesota’s waiver approval.]And based on the scathing letter that Dayton sent CMS a few days earlier, it appeared at that point that Minnesota could actually lose money on the deal — losing more in federal funding for MinnesotaCare than they gain in reinsurance funding. Dayton noted in his letter that the 1332 waiver approval process had been “nightmarish,” and that Minnesota went to great lengths to follow instructions from CMS at every turn, throughout the process of drafting H.F.5 and the 1332 waiver proposal.

He explains that CMS provided Minnesota with explicit guidance in terms of how to draft the reinsurance program while maintaining full federal funding for MinnesotaCare, and highlighted the fact that the state never deviated from the instructions that were provided.The StarTribune editorial board called out then-Secretary of HHS, Tom Price and the Trump Administration for their lack of clarity on the issue, for apparently misleading the state during the 1332 waiver drafting process, and for effectively punishing the state of Minnesota for taking an innovative approach to ensuring that as many people as possible have health insurance.Insurers filed rates based on reinsurance being available. And by the time the waiver was approved, there was very little time to evaluate the potential impacts of the funding changes, as rates had to be finalized by October 2 in Minnesota. The finalized rates did incorporate the reinsurance program. The state has accepted the approved waiver, but Gov. Dayton sent a letter to HHS on October 3, asking them to reconsider the MinnesotaCare funding cuts, but the issue has remained unresolved.Elimination of CSR funding results in additional funding cut for MinnesotaCare, but a lawsuit has partially restored that fundingNationwide, 54 percent of exchange enrollees benefit from cost-sharing subsidies.

But in Minnesota, only 13 percent of exchange enrollees are receiving cost-sharing subsidies. This is because of MinnesotaCare, which covers all enrollees with income up to 200 percent of the poverty level. That’s the same group that would otherwise benefit the most from cost-sharing subsidies, so the fact that MinnesotaCare is available means that most of the people who would otherwise be enrolled in cost-sharing subsidy plans are instead enrolled in MinnesotaCare.At first glance, this would appear to have made the uncertainty surrounding cost-sharing subsidy funding in 2017 a little less of a pressing issue in Minnesota than it was in many other states, since private insurers weren’t facing the sort of losses that insurers in other states were facing without federal funding for CSR. But when the Trump Administration eliminated federal funding for CSR in October 2017, HHS took the position tha t since CSR funding had been eliminated, the CSR portion of the federal funding for the BHPs in New York and Minnesota would be reduced to $0. This was not a cut-and-dried conclusion, however, as explained earlier in 2017 by Michael Kalina.In January 2018, the Attorneys General for New York and Minnesota filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services, seeking to restore funding for their Basic Health Programs.

A judge ruled in favor of the states in May 2018, ensuring that MinnesotaCare would continue to receive at least some CSR-based funding. The amount awarded to the state for the first quarter of 2018 was just over half of what the state had initially expected in CSR-related funding, but a larger chuck of the funding was restored later in 2018. According to the Star Tribune, however, Minnesota still ended up losing $161 million in federal funding for MinnesotaCare due to the CSR funding cuts.In early 2019, the Trump administration proposed yet another funding cut (a third, after the cuts imposed by the reinsurance program and the elimination of CSR funding) as part of a new methodology for calculating BHP funding. This one was much smaller than the other two cuts, but taken together the funding reductions are pushing MinnesotaCare towards a looming budget shortfall. SHOP exchange.

Down to one carrier as of 2016, zero by 2018 (and still zero in 2019)In 2015, there were two carriers in MNsure’s SHOP exchange for small businesses. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Medica. But Medica announced in 2015 that they would exit the SHOP exchange in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin at the end of the year. That left BCBS as the only small group carrier available through MNsure in 2016, but it didn’t change much from a practical standpoint, since 83 percent of MNsure’s small groups were enrolled in plans through BCBS in 2015. Indeed, Medica’s reason for exiting the small business exchange was based on low enrollment in the first two years.Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota continued to be the only insurer offering SHOP coverage via MNsure in 2017, but announced in July 2017 that they would no longer offer SHOP coverage in 2018, and would instead transition their SHOP enrollees to small business coverage outside the exchange.

At that point, there were only 3,287 people enrolled in SHOP coverage in Minnesota — far below the 155,000 people that were originally projected to have coverage through MNsure’s SHOP program by 2016 (this much lower-than-anticipated enrollment has been the case in nearly every state’s SHOP exchange. This situation is not unique to Minnesota). State law provided 25% premium rebate in 2017. Amendment to allow plans without essential benefits was cut from final legislationThroughout 2016, then-Governor Dayton called for a state-funded premium rebate for people who buy their own insurance but aren’t eligible for the ACA’s premium subsidies (those are only available for people with income up to 400 percent of the poverty level, or $100,400 for a family of four in 2019).Governor Dayton also noted that the government needed to act quickly to stabilize the individual market in Minnesota, and by late November 2016, his patience with lawmakers was wearing thin. In a November 23 press conference, Dayton said that House Republicans needed to “stop dilly-dallying” and decide whether to move forward with Dayton’s rebate proposal.Dayton had also indicated that he was considering calling a special session of the legislature after election day to address the situation, and that was being negotiated for December 20.

But the talks fell through when Dayton and Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt couldn’t agree on the three bills that would have been addressed in the special session. As a result, there was no special session.Instead, the issue was taken up by lawmakers as soon as the 2017 legislative session began. On January 5, Minnesota Senators Michelle Benson (R, 31st District) and Gary Dahms (R, 16th District) introduced S.F.1. The bill called for using $300 million in state funding to provide a 25 percent rebate to roughly 125,000 people in Minnesota.S.F.1 passed the Minnesota Senate by a 35-31 vote on January 12. Only one DFL Senator (Melisa Franzen, from Edina) voted with Republicans in favor of the legislation.

It was then sent to the House, where an amendment was added that stripped out the requirement that health plans provide various mandated benefits (see “Journal of the Day” section “Top of page 154” in this version of the bill. Under the terms of the amendment, as long as a carrier offered at least one plan with all the mandated benefits, they would have been allowed to offer others without mandated benefits).The amended bill was sent back to the Senate on January 23. Differences between the bills that the two chambers passed had to be reconciled before being sent to Governor Dayton for his signature. By that point, the amendment to allow less-robust plans to be sold had garnered national attention, and public outrage helped to push lawmakers away from the provision. S.F.1 had also called for $150 million to be appropriated for fiscal year 2018 (through June 30, 2019) from the state general fund to a state-based reinsurance program to stabilize the individual market (Alaska did something similar in 2016, preventing a market collapse), but that provision was also removed in the final version (Minnesota did ultimately set up a reinsurance program, effective in 2018, which has served to stabilize the market and reduce premiums).A Conference Committee in the Senate recommended that the House “recede from its amendments” and the Conference Committee report passed the Senate on a 47-19 vote.

The House passed the bill a few hours later, 108-19. It was sent to Governor Dayton, who immediately signed it into law. DFLers did have to compromise on one issue during the process. S.F.1 allows for-profit HMOs to begin operating in Minnesota’s individual market, which had long been limited to non-profit HMOs.Consumers were told to expect the premium rebates to show up by April 2017, but they were retroactively effective to January 2017. So a person who had been paying full price for a plan since January 2017 saw a substantial premium reduction on the April or May invoice.

Going forward, for the remainder of the year, a 25 percent rebate applied each month.Since S.F.1 was signed into law with only a few days remaining in open enrollment (it ended January 31 that year), Governor Dayton and exchange officials were worried that there wouldn’t be enough time for people to learn about the rebate and apply for coverage before January 31. In December, Dayton had asked HHS to allow MNsure to extend its enrollment deadline to February 28 (instead of January 31) in order to allow lawmakers more time to work out the details of a state-based premium rebate while still allowing people to enroll after the legislative process is complete.HHS denied the request for a blanket extension, but MNsure used their own authority on January 28 to grant a one-week special enrollment period (February 1 to February 8) due to exceptional circumstances. Although the state-based 25 percent premium rebate was available on or off the exchange, the one-week extension was only valid through MNsure. Health insurers did not have to accept off-exchange enrollments without a qualifying event after January 31.The 25 percent premium rebate program in Minnesota was only authorized for one year, so the rebates did not continue into 2018. And although almost 100,000 people received premium relief through the program in 2017, it ended up costing less than the legislature had allocated, and about $100 million was returned to the state’s budget at the end of 2017.Protecting Medicaid enrollees from estate liensIn every state, Medicaid is jointly funded by the state and the federal government.

Longstanding federal regulations, which predate the ACA, require states to “seek recovery of payments from the individual’s estate for nursing facility services, home and community-based services, and related hospital and prescription drug services” for any Medicaid enrollee over the age of 55. This applies essentially to long-term care services, but states also have the option to go after the individual’s estate to recover costs for other care that was provided by Medicaid after age 55.Prior to 2014, this wasn’t typically an issue, as Medicaid eligibility was generally restricted by asset tests or requirements that applicants be disabled or pregnant (although Minnesota did have much more generous Medicaid eligibility guidelines than most states prior to 2014). But as of 2014, in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, the only eligibility guideline is income. Applicants with income that doesn’t exceed 138 percent of the poverty level are directed to Medicaid, regardless of any assets they might have.When applicants use the health insurance exchange — MNsure in Minnesota — they’re automatically funneled into Medical Assistance (Medicaid) if their income is under 138 percent of the poverty level. But what these enrollees didn’t know was that the state also had a program in place to put liens on estates for Medicaid-provided services for people age 55 and older.The combination of these systems caught numerous residents off guard.

They were enrolled in Medical Assistance through MNsure based on their income, but were not aware that liens were being placed on their homes so that the state could recoup the costs upon their deaths.State Senator Tony Lourey (DFL, District 11) addressed the issue with language included in HF2749, the Omnibus supplemental budget bill, which was signed into law by Governor Dayton on June 1, 2016. The legislation limits estate recovery to just what’s required under federal Medicaid rules (ie, essentially, long-term care costs for people age 55 or older), and makes the provision retroactive to January 1, 2014.Early tech strugglesMNsure opened for business in the fall of 2013, but technological issues persisted well into 2015, despite numerous improvements throughout 2014. Given MNsure’s difficult launch, the state conducted a series of audits and reviews. The first audit reviewed how MNsure spent state and federal money. Auditors concluded that the exchange has generally adequate internal controls and found no fraud or abuse.

The review was conducted by the state Office of the Legislative Auditor, and the report was published in October 2014.Another audit, also conducted by the Office of the Legislative Auditor and released in November 2014, found that the MNsure system in some cases incorrectly determined who qualified for public health benefits. The errors occurred during the first open enrollment period, before a series of system fixes were implemented. The audit did not quantify the total financial impact of the errors. The state Human Services commissioner said a consultant working on technical fixes to MNsure concluded that the eligibility functionality was working correctly as of June 2014.A third audit, a performance evaluation report released in February 2015, said “MNsure’s failures outweighed its achievements.” Among other criticisms, auditors said MNsure staff withheld information from the board of directors and state officials, the enrollment website was seriously flawed and launched without adequate testing, and the first-year enrollment target was unrealistically low.In April 2014, MNsure hired Deloitte Consulting to audit MNsure’s technology and improve the website to make enrolling in coverage and updating life events easier and more streamlined. Deloitte has been involved in successful state-run marketplaces for Connecticut, Kentucky, Rhode Island and Washington.Software upgrades were installed in August 2014, and system testing continued right up until the start of open enrollment.

To reduce wait times for consumers and insurance professionals, MNsure increased its call center and support staff and launched a dedicated service line for agents and brokers.More in-person assisters were available in Minnesota for the 2015 open enrollment period. MNsure encourages residents to utilize the exchange’s assister directory to find local navigators and brokers who can help with the enrollment process.MNsure has improved dramatically in terms of its technology since the early days of ACA implementation, and enrollment increased every year from 2014 through 2019.Lawmakers approved switching to HealthCare.gov as of 2019, but governor vetoedOn May 9, 2017, lawmakers in Minnesota passed SF800, an omnibus health and human services bill. Among many other things, the legislation called for switching from MNsure to the federally-run marketplace (HealthCare.gov) starting in 2019 (see Section 5). But Governor Dayton vetoed it.Gov. Dayton has long been supportive of MNsure, and had previously clarified that he would veto the bill.

In noting his plans to veto the legislation, Dayton made no mention of the transition to HealthCare.gov that was included in the legislation, but focused instead on the sharp budget cuts in the bill. But his veto ensured that MNsure would remain in place, at least for the time being.The Senate’s original version of SF800 did not call for scrapping MNsure, but the bill went through considerable back-and-forth between the two chambers, and the version that passed was the 4th engrossment of the bill.In March 2015, Dayton had asked the legislature to create a Task Force on Health Care Financing that would study MNsure along with possible future alternatives. Dayton noted in his letter that he supported making MNsure “directly accountable to the governor and subject to the same legislative oversight as other state agencies” and his budget included half a million dollars devoted to the task force. The spending bill was approved by the legislature in May, and the 29-member task force was appointed in the summer.One of the possibilities that the task force considered was the possibility of switching to Healthcare.gov, but it’s clear that there was no cut-and-dried answer to the question of whether Minnesota is better served by having a state-run exchange, switching to a federally-run exchange, or teaming up with the federal government on either a supported state-based marketplace or partnership exchange.In a December 2015 meeting of the task force, the MN Department of Human Services presented a financial analysis of the alternatives available to MNsure. They determined that switching entirely to Healthcare.gov would cost the state an additional $5.1 million in one-time costs from June 2016 to June 2017.

And switching to a supported state-based marketplace would cost an additional $6.6 million during that same time frame. If the state had opted to switch to Healthcare.gov, the soonest it could have happened was 2018, since HHS requires a year’s notice from states wishing to transition to Healthcare.gov, and Minnesota wouldn’t have been in a position to make a decision until sometime in 2016.There were significant reservations about making that switch prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on King v. Burwell. The Court ruled in June 2015 that subsidies are legal in every state, including those that use Healthcare.gov. Prior to the decision, a switch to Healthcare.gov could have jeopardized subsidies for tens of thousands of Minnesota residents.

But once it was clear that Healthcare.gov’s subsidies are safe, some stakeholders began calling for Minnesota to scrap its state-run exchange and use Healthcare.gov instead. Because the MNsure task force was included in the 2016 budget, no hasty decisions were made.In January 2016, the task force submitted their recommendations to the legislature. They covered a broad range of issues, but did not recommend that MNsure transition to the federal enrollment platform. Lawmakers essentially left the exchange alone during the 2016 legislative session.The magnitude of the 2016 rate increases that were announced in October resulted in MNsure opponents renewing their calls to switch to Healthcare.gov. But it’s important to keep in mind that the 41 percent weighted average rate hike in Minnesota was market-wide, and did not just apply to MNsure enrollees.

In fact, the off-exchange carrier (PreferredOne) had among the highest rate hikes in the state for 2016, at 39 percent, and the exchange’s weighted average rate increase (38.5 percent) was lower than the weighted average rate increase for the whole individual market (41 percent).Minnesota health insurance exchange linksMNsure855-3MNSURE (855-366-7873)State Exchange Profile. MinnesotaThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Minnesota’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.Key takeaways Medicaid expansion in HawaiiHawaii adopted Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, extending eligibility for Medicaid to adults with income up to 133 percent of the poverty level (138 percent with the automatic 5 percent income disregard).

Medicaid expansion took effect in January 2014.According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 70,000 Hawaii residents were uninsured in 2015. With Medicaid expansion now covering low-income, nonelderly adults, 50 percent of Hawaii’s remaining uninsured population at that point was eligible for Medicaid – although they may not realize that they’re eligible. According to U.S. Census data, only 3.5 percent of Hawaii residents were uninsured as of 2016, down from 6.7 percent in 2013. Although the state’s uninsured rate was reduced by nearly half from 2013 to 2016, it was already less than half of the national average uninsured rate even in 2013, before the bulk of the ACA’s provisions had taken effect.

Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act, which has been in place since the 1970s, had already resulted in nearly all of the state’s population having insurance coverage, even before the ACA took effect. However, with the coronavirus outbreak, job losses and the subsequent loss of employer-provided insurance have contributed to a jump in the uninsured rate across the U.S. As of May 2020, Hawaii’s uninsured rate was 10 percent.Medicaid expansion helped cement top-ranking health scores Federalpoverty levelcalculator 0.0% of Federal Poverty Level Hawaii has a long history of supporting initiatives to make health insurance broadly available to residents. Hawaii was among the first six states that implemented a Medicaid program in January 1966, just six months after federal legislation authorizing the program was enacted. In 1974, Hawaii implemented its Prepaid Health Care Act, which mandated that most employers make health insurance available to employees who work at least 20 hours a week.In conjunction with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Hawaii initially implemented a state-run health insurance marketplace and adopted Medicaid expansion.

The marketplace transitioned to a federally-supported state-run marketplace for 2016, and transitioned again to a fully federally-run exchange for 2017, largely in an effort to take advantage of the economies of scale that the federally-run exchange could bring to a state with low overall enrollment in the individual market (because of Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act, nearly all non-elderly Hawaii residents get coverage from an employer, and relatively few need coverage under individual market plans). Nothing changed about Medicaid with the switch to Healthcare.gov though. The expanded Medicaid eligibility guidelines are still in effect in Hawaii.Through its efforts, Hawaii consistently has low uninsured rates and high overall health scores. As of 2015, Hawaii was ranked the healthiest state in the nation according to the Gallup Healthways Physical Wellbeing Index, and the state consistently scores near the top in other ranking systems (number 2 the America’s Health Rankings 2017 survey, and number 3 in the Commonwealth Fund’s 2017 Scorecard on State Health System Performance).Who is eligible for Medicaid in Hawaii?. Hawaii’s Medicaid eligibility levels for children are much higher than the national average and about average for pregnant women and parents.Children ages 0-18 qualify with family income levels up to 308 of the federal poverty level (FPL)Pregnant women qualify with family income up to 191 percent of FPLParents and other adults qualify with family income up to 138 percent of FPLHawaii also uses Medicaid funds to help cover premium costs for Hawaii residents who aren’t U.S.

Citizens but who are citizens of nations that have entered into the Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the U.S.How do I enroll in Medicaid in Hawaii?. Hawaii’s Medicaid program is called MED-QUEST (MQD). QUEST stands for Quality care, Universal access, Efficient utilization, Stabilizing costs, and Transforming the way health care is provided to recipients.You can apply for MED-QUEST. Hawaii Medicaid enrollment numbersMore than 351,000 people were enrolled in Hawaii’s Medicaid and CHIP programs as of June 2020. This figure is a 22% increase over 2013 (pre-ACA) enrollment, when about 288,000 people were enrolled.

Accordingly to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 107,300 of those enrolled in Hawaii Medicaid are part of the ACA-authorized expansion as of June 2019.Hawaii Medicaid historyHawaii implemented its Medicaid program in January 1966.In the early 1990s, Hawaii implemented the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to cover people who weren’t eligible for Medicaid. Then, in 1994, CMS approved Hawaii’s section 1115 Medicaid waiver (one of the first in the nation) to wrap SHIP in with Medicaid in an effort to achieve universal insurance coverage (in combination with the state’s Prepaid Health Care Act). The result of the waiver was the creation of Hawaii’s MED-QUEST program, which initially covered low-income women and children, but has since expanded (as of 2009) to cover nearly all of Hawaii’s Medicaid beneficiaries. The MED-QUEST waiver is subject to renewal every five years.Medicaid in Hawaii is separated into two different methods of providing services. The fee-for-service (FFS) program and the managed care program, called MED-QUEST or MQD.

Under the FFS program, doctors and other healthcare providers bill Medicaid directly to be reimbursed for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. Under MED-QUEST, the state contracts with managed care plans who in turn provide healthcare services to Medicaid beneficiaries.As of 2011, more than 98 percent of the people enrolled in Hawaii’s Medicaid program were covered through managed care. By March 2015, Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 335,007 Medicaid enrollees in Hawaii were covered under managed care programs. That’s higher than the August 2015 total Medicaid/CHIP enrollment count, but KFF notes that the managed care number includes people who are covered under Hawaii’s fully-state-funded Medicaid program, in addition to the majority of enrollees who are in regular Medicaid that’s funded partially by the state and partially by the federal government.In August 2017, Hawaii submitted a waiver amendment to CMS in order to gain federal approval to use Medicaid funding to provide housing services to qualified Medicaid enrollees who are homeless and also have behavioral health and/or substance abuse problems. That waiver request was still pending as of February 2018.Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006.

She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts..

Minnesota marketplace purchase levitra canada highlights levitra boots and updatesOpen enrollment for 2021 health plans. November 1, 2020 through December purchase levitra canada 22, 2020. Residents with qualifying events can still enroll or make changes to their 2020 coverage.Insurers implementing modest rate increases for 2021, after three straight years of average rate decreases. Quartz has joined the exchange for purchase levitra canada 2021, bringing total number of insurers to five.117,520 people enrolled for 2020, a new record for MNsure.Insurer participation in MNsure.

2014 to 2021.Reinsurance program received federal approval, began operation in 2018.With reinsurance, rates decreased for 2018 and again, even more significantly, for 2019. But reinsurance also reduced funding for purchase levitra canada MinnesotaCare.The elimination of CSR funding further reduced MinnesotaCare funding, but this has been partly restored by a court ruling.MN provided premium relief for non-subsidy-eligible enrollees for 2017 only.Governor vetoed a proposed 2019 switch to HealthCare.gov.MNsure’s small business exchange no longer has any participating insurers.Minnesota health exchange overviewMinnesota’s one of the states fighting the hardest to preserve the Affordable Care Act’s gains. See actions Minnesota has taken.Minnesota’s state-run exchange, MNsure, has five participating insurers for 2021, up from four in 2020. The exchange has more than 117,000 individual market enrollees as of 2020.As purchase levitra canada a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, MNsure joined most of the other state-run exchanges in offering a special enrollment period during which people who were uninsured could enroll in a health plan.

MNsure’s special enrollment period began March 23, and continued through April 21. Nearly 9,500 Minnesota residents enrolled in private plans through MNsure during this window, as well as another 13,700 purchase levitra canada who enrolled in MinnesotaCare or Medicaid (enrollment in those programs is open year-round for eligible residents).Allison O’Toole, who led MNsure as CEO for three years, announced her resignation in March 2018, and the exchange named Nate Clark, the MNsure COO, as acting CEO. A few months later, the MNsure board named Clark as the permanent CEO. O’Toole left MNsure to work as director of state affairs for United States of Care, a non-profit created by Andy Slavitt, who was the acting administrator of CMS under the Obama Administration.Throughout 2017, Minnesotans who bought their own health insurance (on or off-exchange) and weren’t eligible for ACA subsidies were provided with 25 percent premium rebates from the state as a result of purchase levitra canada S.F.1, signed into law by Governor Dayton in early 2017.

The subsidies helped to offset the large premium increases that applied in Minnesota in 2017, and helped to stabilize the individual health insurance market in 2017. But the premium rebate program expired at the end of 2017.Thanks in large part to the new reinsurance program that Minnesota created (details below), premiums decreased in Minnesota’s individual market in 2018, purchase levitra canada 2019, and again in 2020, although rates are increasing modestly for 2021. In May 2019, Minnesota leaders reached an agreement on a budget that included an extension of the reinsurance program through 2020 and 2021 (it has already been granted federal approval through the end of 2022, but the state has to continue to cover its share of the cost. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz had hoped to implement a premium subsidy purchase levitra canada program and a new tax credit in Minnesota starting in 2020.

But a compromise in the budget ended up with the state opting to continue the existing reinsurance program for two more years instead.).But the waiver that provides federal pass-through funding for reinsurance also resulted in a sharp and unexpected decrease in federal funding for MinnesotaCare, the Basic Health Program that provides coverage for people with income between 138 percent and 200 percent of the poverty level (between $16,642 and $24,120 for a single person).In addition, the elimination of federal funding for cost-sharing reductions (CSR) in October 2018 resulted in a funding cut for MinnesotaCare, since the program is funded in large part by federal funds that would otherwise have been used to pay for premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions in the exchange for the population that is instead eligible for MinnesotaCare. After an ensuing legal battle, a judge ordered HHS to restore funding for MinnesotaCare, although a resolution of the situation is ongoing, and the amount that HHS agreed to pay was still less than MinnesotaCare would have received purchase levitra canada if CSR funding had continued.Open enrollment for 2021 health plans extended through December 22, 2020. Insurers implementing modest rate increases for 2021, after three years of overall rate decreasesMNsure enabled window shopping for 2021 health plans as of October 12, 2020. This gives residents a purchase levitra canada few weeks to browse the available plans before open enrollment starts on November 1, 2020.

And MNsure has announced that open enrollment will continue through December 22, 2020. That’s a week longer than the open enrollment period that will apply in states that use the federally-run purchase levitra canada exchange. The flexibility to extend open enrollment is often cited as one of the benefits of having a fully state-run exchange. (MNsure had purchase levitra canada a similar extension last December, for 2020 health plans).For 2021, Quartz is joining the Minnesota marketplace.

Quartz currently offers plans in Illinois and Wisconsin, and is expanding into Minnesota for 2021. And two of the existing insurers — HealthPartners and UCare — are expanding their purchase levitra canada coverage areas for 2021 (BluePlus and Medica offer coverage statewide, and will continue to do so in 2021).The following average rate changes have been approved for MNsure’s insurers:Blue Plus. 4.21 percent increase (down from an initially proposed 7.12 percent increase)Group Health/Health Partners purchase levitra canada (GHI). 0.67 percent increase (down from an initially proposed 4.15 percent increase)Medica.

2.42 percent purchase levitra canada increase (down from an initially proposed 7.06 percent increase)UCare. 1.6 percent increase (up from an initially proposed 1.39 percent decrease)Quartz. New for 2021, so no applicable rate changePreferredOne Insurance Company, which offers plans outside the exchange, is purchase levitra canada increasing premiums by 1.05 percent (down from an initially proposed average increase of 5.09 percent). Rate changes in previous years2015.

Average increase purchase levitra canada of 4.5 percent. MNsure critics characterized the official announcement as misleading as it failed to take into account low-cost 2014 plans from PreferredOne. Consumers who bought a PreferredOne plan through MNsure for 2014 could only renew their policies for 2015 by working directly with the purchase levitra canada insurer, since PreferredOne stopped offering plans in the exchange at the end of 2014. However, PreferredOne rates went up an average of 63 percent, and consumers didn’t qualify for subsidies if they shopped outside the exchange.

2016. Average increase of 41.4 percent for the individual market, and about 38.5 for plans sold in MNsure (ie, not counting PreferredOne). Rates increased significantly in 2016 across the entire individual market in Minnesota — including plans sold through MNsure, the state-run exchange.Approved rates for 2016 were announced on October 1, 2015, ranging from about 15 percent for Medica to 49 percent for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. In general, the carriers cited higher-than-expected claims costs over the past year, along with the impending phase-out of the ACA’s reinsurance program as justification for their 2016 rate requests.

But Governor Mark Dayton called some of the higher proposed increases “outrageous,” and promised a rigorous review of the filed rate changes and justifications. Ultimately, regulators were able to limit the highest rate increases to 49 percent — as opposed to the 54 percent that had been requested by Blue Plus and BCBS of MN — but the final weighted average rate increase in the individual market in Minnesota still ended up being the highest in the nation. But Minnesota still had the lowest overall premiums in the upper midwest (although Minnesota had the highest average rate increase in the country for 2016, they had the lowest overall rates in the country in 2014 and 2015).Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman called the rate increases “unacceptably high,” and Gov. Dayton noted that he was “extremely unhappy” with the rate changes.

But Rothman noted that his office “objected to all of the rates across the board,” and “squeezed out everything we could that was not actuarial justified.” In other words, the final rates, although much higher than officials and policyholders would have liked, were justified based on medical claims costs — the population enrolled in individual health plans in Minnesota was sicker than expected, and drug costs had been particularly onerous.Only about 55 percent of people who had 2015 coverage through MNsure received premium subsidies. But due to the sharp premium increases, that had increased to about 63 percent for the people who had purchased or renewed coverage as of June 2016.2017. When the Minnesota Department of Commerce announced health insurance rates for 2017 for the individual and small group markets, the rate hikes were somewhat reasonable in the small group market (ranging from a decrease of 1 percent to an increase of 17.8 percent), but the individual market was “experiencing serious disruptions in 2017” and “on the verge of collapse.” The four carriers that offered plans through MNsure had the following average rate increases in 2017:Blue Plus = 55 percentHealthPartners/Group Health (GHI) = 50 percent (HealthPartners is only offering plans in 10 of the 67 counties where they offered plans in 2016. Their enrollment cap is 72,000 for 2017)Medica = 57.5 percent (enrollment cap is 50,000 for 2017)UCare = 66.8 percent (UCare capped enrollment at 30,000 for 2017, but only had 16,000 enrollees in 2016)The enrollment caps that HealthPartners, Medica, and UCare employed for 2017 were approved as part of the rate review process, and are designed to protect carriers from further financial losses as they absorb BCBSMN’s enrollees who are shopping for new coverage during open enrollment.In a news release relating to the rate announcement for 2017, the Minnesota Department of Commerce didn’t mince words.

They noted that the individual market in the state was on the brink of collapse, and that they did everything in their power to save the market. While they succeeded in keeping the state’s individual market viable for 2017, with only one carrier exiting (BCBSMN, although their HMO affiliate, Blue Plus, remained in the exchange), they reiterated very clearly that substantial reforms would be needed to keep the market stable in future years, and highlighted the fact that rates would be sharply higher and that carriers would limit enrollment in 2017.2018. Final rates for 2018 were approved in October 2017 (comprehensive information about the approved rates is here), based on the Minnesota Premium Security Plan (MSPS) being implemented but cost-sharing reductions (CSR) not being funded by the federal government (the cost of CSRs was added to on-exchange Silver plans). Average approved rate changes for MNsure insurers ranged from a 13.3 percent decrease for UCare to a 2.8 percent increase for Blue Plus.

Three of the four MNsure insurers decreased their average premiums for 2018.On September 21, MNsure had posted a notice indicating that if the reinsurance program were not approved, rates would be about 20 percent higher than they would otherwise be in 2018. Fortunately for Minnesota residents, the reinsurance program did receive federal approval, and average rates declined slightly for 2018.But some enrollees who don’t get ACA premium subsidies still experienced a rate increase, due to the termination of the one-year, state-funded 25 percent premium rebates at the end of 2017.PreferredOne, which exited MNsure at the end of 2014 and only offers coverage in the off-exchange market, proposed dramatically lower rates for 2018. A 38 percent average decrease if MSPS were to be approved, and a 23 percent average decrease if not. The 38 percent decrease was implemented, and no adjustments were necessary to account for CSR funding, since PreferredOne does not offer plans in the exchange, and CSRs are only available on silver exchange plans.2019.

Average premium decrease of 12.4 percent. Average premiums dropped for all five insurers in the individual market in 2019. This was the second year in a row of declining rates in Minnesota, but Blue Plus had a small rate increase for 2018, so 2019 was the first year that all five insurers decreased their average rates. Minnesota insurance regulators noted that rates in 2019 were about 20 percent lower than they would have been without the reinsurance program.But most of Minnesota’s insurers charged higher rates in 2019 than they would have if the individual mandate penalty hadn’t been eliminated, and if access to short-term plans and association health plans hadn’t been expanded by the Trump administration.

For example, UCare’s rate filing notes that while average rates were decreasing by about 10 percent, the rate decrease would have been nearly 15 percent if the individual mandate penalty had remained in place.At ACA Signups, Charles Gaba calculated a weighted average rate decrease of 12.4 percent for 2019 in Minnesota, but noted that the average decrease would have been nearly 19 percent without those changes at the federal level.2020. Average premium decrease of 1 percent. Four of the five insurers (including PreferredOne, which only offers coverage off-exchange) in Minnesota’s individual market decreased their average premiums for 2020. This was the third year in a row that average individual market premiums dropped in Minnesota’s individual market, due in large part to the reinsurance program that the state has established.The following average rate changes were implemented for 2020:Blue Plus.

1.5 percent decrease (Blue Plus had originally proposed a 4.8 percent increase)Group Health/Health Partners (GHI). 1.26 percent decrease (GHI had originally proposed a 2.1 percent increase)Medica. 1.01 percent decrease (Medica had originally proposed an average decrease of 1.4 percent)UCare. 0.18 percent increase (UCare originally proposed a 0.3 percent increase)PreferredOne, which only offers off-exchange coverage, reduced their rates by an average of 20 percent, on the heels of an 11 percent decrease in 2019.

MNsure enrollment exceeded 116k in 2018, dropped to 113k for 2019, but grew to more than 1117k in 2020From 2014 through 2018, enrollment in MNsure’s individual market plans increased every year, reaching 116,358 people by 2018. That was the highest open enrollment total in MNsure’s history, despite the shorter enrollment period, which ended in mid-January instead of the end of January (open enrollment for 2018 coverage ended on December 15, 2017 in states that use HealthCare.gov, but MNsure opted to extend their enrollment window that year, and have also extended subsequent enrollment windows).Enrollment dropped for the first time in 2019, when 113,552 people enrolled in individual market plans through MNsure. In most states that use HealthCare.gov, enrollment peaked in 2016 and has been dropping since then. But MNsure’s drop-off in 2019, which amounted to only a 2.4 percent reduction in enrollment, is the only time year-over-year enrollment has declined.

Notably, the ACA’s individual mandate penalty was eliminated as of 2019, and regulations that the Trump administration implemented in late 2018 now make it more feasible for healthy people to use short-term plans instead of ACA-compliant plans (Minnesota has its own rules for short-term plans, but they’re more relaxed than the Obama-era federal rules that applied in 2017 and most of 2018).And for 2020, enrollment grew again, reaching a record high of 117,520 enrollees.Here’s a look at the number of people who have signed up for individual market plans through MNsure during each year’s open enrollment period. These numbers all represent total enrollment at the end of open enrollment. Effectuated enrollment is always lower, and MNsure provides periodic effectuated enrollment data on their board meeting materials page. Insurer participation in MNsure.

2014-20212014. Five insurers offered individual policies through MNsure for 2014. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners/Group Health, Medica, PreferredOne, and UCare. Kaiser Health News reported that Minnesota offered some of the lowest premiums for silver (mid-level) plans in the U.S.

Four of Minnesota’s nine regions made Kaiser’s list of the 10 least expensive places to buy health insurance.2015. But PreferredOne, which offered the lowest rates in the nation in 2014 and captured a large portion of 2014 enrollees, withdrew from MNsure for 2015. PreferredOne said remaining on the exchange was “not administratively and financially sustainable.” A Star Tribune business writer attributed PreferredOne’s departure as a market dynamics issue rather than a problem with MNsure.However, Blue Plus (an affiliate of Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN, offering HMO plans) joined the exchange for 2015, so there were still five insurers offering plans for 2015. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Blue Plus, Health Partners/Group Health, Medica, and UCare.

MNsure offered 84 plans statewide, up from 78 for 2014.2016. BCBSMN, Blue Plus, Health Partners/Group Health, Medica, and UCare offered individual market plans through MNsure for 2016.2017. In an effort to recruit more carriers to offer plans through MNsure for 2017 — particularly outside the Twin Cities metro area — state regulators sent out a request for proposals from health insurers on August 15, 2016. Regulators noted that insurers could propose waivers of regulations in order to make it feasible for them to offer coverage through MNsure, although any such waiver requests would have to be approved by regulators.Steven Parente, a health insurance expert at the University of Minnesota, called the state’s effort to recruit insurers to MNsure a “distress call” and noted that August 15 is awfully late in the year to be putting out a request for insurer participation, given that open enrollment begins November 1.

And ultimately, no new insurers opted to join MNsure for 2017.Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN dropped their individual market PPO plans at the end of 2016 due to significant financial losses. That left Blue Plus (which offered HMOs and covered roughly 13,000 people in 2016 in the individual market) as the only BCBSMN affiliate in the exchange. Roughly 103,000 people had to select new plans during open enrollment.Most of those BCBSMN enrollees had off-exchange coverage, though. There were only about 20,400 MNsure enrollees (a little more than one in five MNsure enrollees) with coverage under BCBSMN who needed to switch to another plan during open enrollment.

BCBSMN had individual PPO options available in all 87 counties in Minnesota through MNsure in 2016, while the Blue Plus coverage area — comprised of four separate HMO networks — was available in 77 of the state’s counties.Nationwide, carriers have been shifting away from PPOs and towards HMOs and EPOs. In Colorado, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield also dropped their PPOs at the end of 2016. In Indiana, there were no PPOs available in the individual market by 2017. Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico dropped all of their individual market plans at the end of 2015 except one off-exchange HMO.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas dropped their individual market PPO plans at the end of 2015.The broad network offered by PPOs tends to be attractive to enrollees who have health problems. They’re often willing to pay higher premiums in trade for access to broad network of hospitals and specialists. But PPOs are expensive for carriers, as enrollees don’t need primary care referrals to see specialists, and it’s more challenging for carriers to hold down costs when there are more providers in the network.All of the MNsure carriers except Blue Plus are also limiting their total enrollment for 2017. By November 11, 2016, less than two weeks into open enrollment for 2017 coverage, Medica had hit their 50,000 member enrollment cap for 2017 (including on and off-exchange enrollments, and also accounting for expected renewals of 2016 Medica plans), and their policies were no longer available in the individual market in Minnesota, on or off-exchange.

The only exception was five counties (Benton, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Morrison, and Stearns) where Medica agreed not to limit enrollment, as all of the other available carriers in those counties have imposed enrollment caps too. In those five counties, Medica plans continued to be available.At that point, Medica’s market share in MNsure for 2017 stood at 34.2 percent. By December 14, Medica’s market share had dropped to 27.7 percent, as enrollments had continued to climb for the remaining carriers.On January 31, Medica re-opened enrollment for 2017. This was because a smaller-than-expected number of 2016 Medica enrollees renewed their plans for 2017, meaning that the carrier still had some wiggle room under their 50,000 member cap.

At that point, they had room for about 7,000 more enrollees. Medica plans were thus available throughout the duration of the special enrollment period that was added on at the end of open enrollment, and continue to be available for people with qualifying events.2018. Plans continued to be available from Blue Plus, Health Partners/Group Health (GHI), Medica, UCare. In the months before a decision was reached regarding an extension of the open enrollment window for 2018 plans (the first year that the federal government imposed a shorter, month-and-a-half enrollment window), two of MNsure’s participating insurers had differing positions.

UCare believed the exchange should add an additional two-week special enrollment period, while Medica did not want the exchange to have the option to extend the newly-scheduled six-week enrollment window. Notably, Medica capped their enrollment very early during the 2017 open enrollment period, and while UCare also had an enrollment cap, it was set with a target of nearly doubling their 2016 enrollment. But Medica is the only MNsure insurer that didn’t set an enrollment cap for 2018.As was the case for 2017, enrollment caps were used in the individual market in Minnesota for 2018 by all insurers other than Medica (Medica did have an enrollment cap for 2017, which they hit very early in open enrollment. However, they resumed enrollments at the end of January 2017).

Details about the insurers’ enrollment caps are in the plan binders in SERFF. For 2018, MNsure insurers implemented the following enrollment caps:Blue Plus. 55,000 member cap (aiming for a target of 50,000 effectuated enrollees, but effectuated enrollment is always lower than the number of people who initially enroll)Health Partners/Group Health (GHI). 73,400 member cap (aiming for a target of 70,000 effectuated enrollees)Medica.

No enrollment capUCare. 35,000 member cap (aiming for a target of 30,000 effectuated enrollees)MNsure confirmed in May 2018 that none of their insurers had hit their enrollment caps for 2018.Outside the exchange, PreferredOne had an enrollment cap of 3,000 members, although their 2017 membership was only about 300 people.2019 and 2020. Blue Plus, Health Partners/Group Health, UCare, and Medica have continued to offer plans through MNsure, and all of them continued to participate in 2020 as well. Blue Plus expanded to once again offer statewide coverage in 2020, for the first time since 2016.2021.

Quartz joined the exchange for 2021, joining the four existing insurers. HealthPartners and UCare are both expanding their coverage areas for 2021.Minnesota Premium Security Plan. 1332 waiver proposal approved by CMS, but with a significant funding cut for MinnesotaCareIn May 2017, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton submitted a 1332 waiver proposal to CMS. The 1332 waiver was based on H.F.5, which was enacted without Dayton’s signature in April 2017 (Dayton had proposed an alternative measure that would have allowed people in Minnesota to buy into MinnesotaCare.

That measure was not able to pass the state’s Republican-dominated legislature).[For more than two decades, MinnesotaCare was a state program subsidizing health insurance for low-income residents. As of January 1, 2015, it transitioned to a Basic Health Program under the ACA, becoming the first BHP in the nation.]H.F.5 created the Minnesota Premium Security Plan (MPSP), which is a state-based reinsurance program (similar to the one the ACA implemented on a temporary basis through 2016, and that Alaska created for 2017. Several other states have click here to find out more since implemented reinsurance programs). The reinsurance program, which took effect in Minnesota in 2018, covers a portion of the claims that insurers face, resulting in lower total claims costs for the insurers, and thus lower premiums (average individual market premiums in Minnesota decreased from 2017 to 2018 as a result of the reinsurance program).

The reinsurance kicks in once claims reach $50,000, and covers them at 80 percent up to $250,000 (this is similar to the coverage under the transitional reinsurance program that the ACA provided from 2014 through 2016).H.F.5 was contingent upon approval of the 1332 waiver, because it relies partially on federal funding, in addition to state funding. Under the federal approval that was granted in September 2017, the federal government is giving Minnesota the money that they save on premium tax credits, and that money is combined with state funds to implement the reinsurance program (lower premiums — as a result of the reinsurance program — result in the federal government having to pay a smaller total amount of premium tax credits, since the tax credits are smaller when premiums are smaller).It was expected that CMS would approve the state’s 1332 waiver proposal, and Governor Dayton requested that the approval process be swift so that the state could move forward with the implementation of the Minnesota Premium Security Plan in time for the 2018 plan year. Dayton indicated that his office had been told that approval would come in August 2017, but CMS didn’t approve the waiver until September 22. And the waiver approval letter noted that the federal savings for MinnesotaCare (the state’s Basic Health Program, or BHP) resulting from the reinsurance program would not be eligible to be passed along to the state — in other words, CMS would keep those savings instead.[Federal BHP funding is equal to 95 percent of the amount that the federal government would have otherwise spent on premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions for the population that ends up being eligible for the BHP.

So lower premiums — as a result of reinsurance — for qualified health plans in the exchange means that the amount the federal government would have had to spend on premium subsidies for that population is lower. That translates into a smaller amount of funding for the state’s BHP, according to the approach that HHS took for Minnesota’s waiver approval.]And based on the scathing letter that Dayton sent CMS a few days earlier, it appeared at that point that Minnesota could actually lose money on the deal — losing more in federal funding for MinnesotaCare than they gain in reinsurance funding. Dayton noted in his letter that the 1332 waiver approval process had been “nightmarish,” and that Minnesota went to great lengths to follow instructions from CMS at every turn, throughout the process of drafting H.F.5 and the 1332 waiver proposal. He explains that CMS provided Minnesota with explicit guidance in terms of how to draft the reinsurance program while maintaining full federal funding for MinnesotaCare, and highlighted the fact that the state never deviated from the instructions that were provided.The StarTribune editorial board called out then-Secretary of HHS, Tom Price and the Trump Administration for their lack of clarity on the issue, for apparently misleading the state during the 1332 waiver drafting process, and for effectively punishing the state of Minnesota for taking an innovative approach to ensuring that as many people as possible have health insurance.Insurers filed rates based on reinsurance being available.

And by the time the waiver was approved, there was very little time to evaluate the potential impacts of the funding changes, as rates had to be finalized by October 2 in Minnesota. The finalized rates did incorporate the reinsurance program. The state has accepted the approved waiver, but Gov. Dayton sent a letter to HHS on October 3, asking them to reconsider the MinnesotaCare funding cuts, but the issue has remained unresolved.Elimination of CSR funding results in additional funding cut for MinnesotaCare, but a lawsuit has partially restored that fundingNationwide, 54 percent of exchange enrollees benefit from cost-sharing subsidies.

But in Minnesota, only 13 percent of exchange enrollees are receiving cost-sharing subsidies. This is because of MinnesotaCare, which covers all enrollees with income up to 200 percent of the poverty level. That’s the same group that would otherwise benefit the most from cost-sharing subsidies, so the fact that MinnesotaCare is available means that most of the people who would otherwise be enrolled in cost-sharing subsidy plans are instead enrolled in MinnesotaCare.At first glance, this would appear to have made the uncertainty surrounding cost-sharing subsidy funding in 2017 a little less of a pressing issue in Minnesota than it was in many other states, since private insurers weren’t facing the sort of losses that insurers in other states were facing without federal funding for CSR. But when the Trump Administration eliminated federal funding for CSR in October 2017, HHS took the position tha t since CSR funding had been eliminated, the CSR portion of the federal funding for the BHPs in New York and Minnesota would be reduced to $0.

This was not a cut-and-dried conclusion, however, as explained earlier in 2017 by Michael Kalina.In January 2018, the Attorneys General for New York and Minnesota filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services, seeking to restore funding for their Basic Health Programs. A judge ruled in favor of the states in May 2018, ensuring that MinnesotaCare would continue to receive at least some CSR-based funding. The amount awarded to the state for the first quarter of 2018 was just over half of what the state had initially expected in CSR-related funding, but a larger chuck of the funding was restored later in 2018. According to the Star Tribune, however, Minnesota still ended up losing $161 million in federal funding for MinnesotaCare due to the CSR funding cuts.In early 2019, the Trump administration proposed yet another funding cut (a third, after the cuts imposed by the reinsurance program and the elimination of CSR funding) as part of a new methodology for calculating BHP funding.

This one was much smaller than the other two cuts, but taken together the funding reductions are pushing MinnesotaCare towards a looming budget shortfall. SHOP exchange. Down to one carrier as of 2016, zero by 2018 (and still zero in 2019)In 2015, there were two carriers in MNsure’s SHOP exchange for small businesses. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Medica.

But Medica announced in 2015 that they would exit the SHOP exchange in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin at the end of the year. That left BCBS as the only small group carrier available through MNsure in 2016, but it didn’t change much from a practical standpoint, since 83 percent of MNsure’s small groups were enrolled in plans through BCBS in 2015. Indeed, Medica’s reason for exiting the small business exchange was based on low enrollment in the first two years.Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota continued to be the only insurer offering SHOP coverage via MNsure in 2017, but announced in July 2017 that they would no longer offer SHOP coverage in 2018, and would instead transition their SHOP enrollees to small business coverage outside the exchange. At that point, there were only 3,287 people enrolled in SHOP coverage in Minnesota — far below the 155,000 people that were originally projected to have coverage through MNsure’s SHOP program by 2016 (this much lower-than-anticipated enrollment has been the case in nearly every state’s SHOP exchange.

This situation is not unique to Minnesota). State law provided 25% premium rebate in 2017. Amendment to allow plans without essential benefits was cut from final legislationThroughout 2016, then-Governor Dayton called for a state-funded premium rebate for people who buy their own insurance but aren’t eligible for the ACA’s premium subsidies (those are only available for people with income up to 400 percent of the poverty level, or $100,400 for a family of four in 2019).Governor Dayton also noted that the government needed to act quickly to stabilize the individual market in Minnesota, and by late November 2016, his patience with lawmakers was wearing thin. In a November 23 press conference, Dayton said that House Republicans needed to “stop dilly-dallying” and decide whether to move forward with Dayton’s rebate proposal.Dayton had also indicated that he was considering calling a special session of the legislature after election day to address the situation, and that was being negotiated for December 20.

But the talks fell through when Dayton and Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt couldn’t agree on the three bills that would have been addressed in the special session. As a result, there was no special session.Instead, the issue was taken up by lawmakers as soon as the 2017 legislative session began. On January 5, Minnesota Senators Michelle Benson (R, 31st District) and Gary Dahms (R, 16th District) introduced S.F.1. The bill called for using $300 million in state funding to provide a 25 percent rebate to roughly 125,000 people in Minnesota.S.F.1 passed the Minnesota Senate by a 35-31 vote on January 12.

Only one DFL Senator (Melisa Franzen, from Edina) voted with Republicans in favor of the legislation. It was then sent to the House, where an amendment was added that stripped out the requirement that health plans provide various mandated benefits (see “Journal of the Day” section “Top of page 154” in this version of the bill. Under the terms of the amendment, as long as a carrier offered at least one plan with all the mandated benefits, they would have been allowed to offer others without mandated benefits).The amended bill was sent back to the Senate on January 23. Differences between the bills that the two chambers passed had to be reconciled before being sent to Governor Dayton for his signature.

By that point, the amendment to allow less-robust plans to be sold had garnered national attention, and public outrage helped to push lawmakers away from the provision. S.F.1 had also called for $150 million to be appropriated for fiscal year 2018 (through June 30, 2019) from the state general fund to a state-based reinsurance program to stabilize the individual market (Alaska did something similar in 2016, preventing a market collapse), but that provision was also removed in the final version (Minnesota did ultimately set up a reinsurance program, effective in 2018, which has served to stabilize the market and reduce premiums).A Conference Committee in the Senate recommended that the House “recede from its amendments” and the Conference Committee report passed the Senate on a 47-19 vote. The House passed the bill a few hours later, 108-19. It was sent to Governor Dayton, who immediately signed it into law.

DFLers did have to compromise on one issue during the process. S.F.1 allows for-profit HMOs to begin operating in Minnesota’s individual market, which had long been limited to non-profit HMOs.Consumers were told to expect the premium rebates to show up by April 2017, but they were retroactively effective to January 2017. So a person who had been paying full price for a plan since January 2017 saw a substantial premium reduction on the April or May invoice. Going forward, for the remainder of the year, a 25 percent rebate applied each month.Since S.F.1 was signed into law with only a few days remaining in open enrollment (it ended January 31 that year), Governor Dayton and exchange officials were worried that there wouldn’t be enough time for people to learn about the rebate and apply for coverage before January 31.

In December, Dayton had asked HHS to allow MNsure to extend its enrollment deadline to February 28 (instead of January 31) in order to allow lawmakers more time to work out the details of a state-based premium rebate while still allowing people to enroll after the legislative process is complete.HHS denied the request for a blanket extension, but MNsure used their own authority on January 28 to grant a one-week special enrollment period (February 1 to February 8) due to exceptional circumstances. Although the state-based 25 percent premium rebate was available on or off the exchange, the one-week extension was only valid through MNsure. Health insurers did not have to accept off-exchange enrollments without a qualifying event after January 31.The 25 percent premium rebate program in Minnesota was only authorized for one year, so the rebates did not continue into 2018. And although almost 100,000 people received premium relief through the program in 2017, it ended up costing less than the legislature had allocated, and about $100 million was returned to the state’s budget at the end of 2017.Protecting Medicaid enrollees from estate liensIn every state, Medicaid is jointly funded by the state and the federal government.

Longstanding federal regulations, which predate the ACA, require states to “seek recovery of payments from the individual’s estate for nursing facility services, home and community-based services, and related hospital and prescription drug services” for any Medicaid enrollee over the age of 55. This applies essentially to long-term care services, but states also have the option to go after the individual’s estate to recover costs for other care that was provided by Medicaid after age 55.Prior to 2014, this wasn’t typically an issue, as Medicaid eligibility was generally restricted by asset tests or requirements that applicants be disabled or pregnant (although Minnesota did have much more generous Medicaid eligibility guidelines than most states prior to 2014). But as of 2014, in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, the only eligibility guideline is income. Applicants with income that doesn’t exceed 138 percent of the poverty level are directed to Medicaid, regardless of any assets they might have.When applicants use the health insurance exchange — MNsure in Minnesota — they’re automatically funneled into Medical Assistance (Medicaid) if their income is under 138 percent of the poverty level.

But what these enrollees didn’t know was that the state also had a program in place to put liens on estates for Medicaid-provided services for people age 55 and older.The combination of these systems caught numerous residents off guard. They were enrolled in Medical Assistance through MNsure based on their income, but were not aware that liens were being placed on their homes so that the state could recoup the costs upon their deaths.State Senator Tony Lourey (DFL, District 11) addressed the issue with language included in HF2749, the Omnibus supplemental budget bill, which was signed into law by Governor Dayton on June 1, 2016. The legislation limits estate recovery to just what’s required under federal Medicaid rules (ie, essentially, long-term care costs for people age 55 or older), and makes the provision retroactive to January 1, 2014.Early tech strugglesMNsure opened for business in the fall of 2013, but technological issues persisted well into 2015, despite numerous improvements throughout 2014. Given MNsure’s difficult launch, the state conducted a series of audits and reviews.

The first audit reviewed how MNsure spent state and federal money. Auditors concluded that the exchange has generally adequate internal controls and found no fraud or abuse. The review was conducted by the state Office of the Legislative Auditor, and the report was published in October 2014.Another audit, also conducted by the Office of the Legislative Auditor and released in November 2014, found that the MNsure system in some cases incorrectly determined who qualified for public health benefits. The errors occurred during the first open enrollment period, before a series of system fixes were implemented.

The audit did not quantify the total financial impact of the errors. The state Human Services commissioner said a consultant working on technical fixes to MNsure concluded that the eligibility functionality was working correctly as of June 2014.A third audit, a performance evaluation report released in February 2015, said “MNsure’s failures outweighed its achievements.” Among other criticisms, auditors said MNsure staff withheld information from the board of directors and state officials, the enrollment website was seriously flawed and launched without adequate testing, and the first-year enrollment target was unrealistically low.In April 2014, MNsure hired Deloitte Consulting to audit MNsure’s technology and improve the website to make enrolling in coverage and updating life events easier and more streamlined. Deloitte has been involved in successful state-run marketplaces for Connecticut, Kentucky, Rhode Island and Washington.Software upgrades were installed in August 2014, and system testing continued right up until the start of open enrollment. To reduce wait times for consumers and insurance professionals, MNsure increased its call center and support staff and launched a dedicated service line for agents and brokers.More in-person assisters were available in Minnesota for the 2015 open enrollment period.

MNsure encourages residents to utilize the exchange’s assister directory to find local navigators and brokers who can help with the enrollment process.MNsure has improved dramatically in terms of its technology since the early days of ACA implementation, and enrollment increased every year from 2014 through 2019.Lawmakers approved switching to HealthCare.gov as of 2019, but governor vetoedOn May 9, 2017, lawmakers in Minnesota passed SF800, an omnibus health and human services bill. Among many other things, the legislation called for switching from MNsure to the federally-run marketplace (HealthCare.gov) starting in 2019 (see Section 5). But Governor Dayton vetoed it.Gov. Dayton has long been supportive of MNsure, and had previously clarified that he would veto the bill.

In noting his plans to veto the legislation, Dayton made no mention of the transition to HealthCare.gov that was included in the legislation, but focused instead on the sharp budget cuts in the bill. But his veto ensured that MNsure would remain in place, at least for the time being.The Senate’s original version of SF800 did not call for scrapping MNsure, but the bill went through considerable back-and-forth between the two chambers, and the version that passed was the 4th engrossment of the bill.In March 2015, Dayton had asked the legislature to create a Task Force on Health Care Financing that would study MNsure along with possible future alternatives. Dayton noted in his letter that he supported making MNsure “directly accountable to the governor and subject to the same legislative oversight as other state agencies” and his budget included half a million dollars devoted to the task force. The spending bill was approved by the legislature in May, and the 29-member task force was appointed in the summer.One of the possibilities that the task force considered was the possibility of switching to Healthcare.gov, but it’s clear that there was no cut-and-dried answer to the question of whether Minnesota is better served by having a state-run exchange, switching to a federally-run exchange, or teaming up with the federal government on either a supported state-based marketplace or partnership exchange.In a December 2015 meeting of the task force, the MN Department of Human Services presented a financial analysis of the alternatives available to MNsure.

They determined that switching entirely to Healthcare.gov would cost the state an additional $5.1 million in one-time costs from June 2016 to June 2017. And switching to a supported state-based marketplace would cost an additional $6.6 million during that same time frame. If the state had opted to switch to Healthcare.gov, the soonest it could have happened was 2018, since HHS requires a year’s notice from states wishing to transition to Healthcare.gov, and Minnesota wouldn’t have been in a position to make a decision until sometime in 2016.There were significant reservations about making that switch prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on King v. Burwell.

The Court ruled in June 2015 that subsidies are legal in every state, including those that use Healthcare.gov. Prior to the decision, a switch to Healthcare.gov could have jeopardized subsidies for tens of thousands of Minnesota residents. But once it was clear that Healthcare.gov’s subsidies are safe, some stakeholders began calling for Minnesota to scrap its state-run exchange and use Healthcare.gov instead. Because the MNsure task force was included in the 2016 budget, no hasty decisions were made.In January 2016, the task force submitted their recommendations to the legislature.

They covered a broad range of issues, but did not recommend that MNsure transition to the federal enrollment platform. Lawmakers essentially left the exchange alone during the 2016 legislative session.The magnitude of the 2016 rate increases that were announced in October resulted in MNsure opponents renewing their calls to switch to Healthcare.gov. But it’s important to keep in mind that the 41 percent weighted average rate hike in Minnesota was market-wide, and did not just apply to MNsure enrollees. In fact, the off-exchange carrier (PreferredOne) had among the highest rate hikes in the state for 2016, at 39 percent, and the exchange’s weighted average rate increase (38.5 percent) was lower than the weighted average rate increase for the whole individual market (41 percent).Minnesota health insurance exchange linksMNsure855-3MNSURE (855-366-7873)State Exchange Profile.

MinnesotaThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Minnesota’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.Key takeaways Medicaid expansion in HawaiiHawaii adopted Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, extending eligibility for Medicaid to adults with income up to 133 percent of the poverty level (138 percent with the automatic 5 percent income disregard).

Medicaid expansion took effect in January 2014.According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 70,000 Hawaii residents were uninsured in 2015. With Medicaid expansion now covering low-income, nonelderly adults, 50 percent of Hawaii’s remaining uninsured population at that point was eligible for Medicaid – although they may not realize that they’re eligible. According to U.S. Census data, only 3.5 percent of Hawaii residents were uninsured as of 2016, down from 6.7 percent in 2013.

Although the state’s uninsured rate was reduced by nearly half from 2013 to 2016, it was already less than half of the national average uninsured rate even in 2013, before the bulk of the ACA’s provisions had taken effect. Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act, which has been in place since the 1970s, had already resulted in nearly all of the state’s population having insurance coverage, even before the ACA took effect. However, with the coronavirus outbreak, job losses and the subsequent loss of employer-provided insurance have contributed to a jump in the uninsured rate across the U.S. As of May 2020, Hawaii’s uninsured rate was 10 percent.Medicaid expansion helped cement top-ranking health scores Federalpoverty levelcalculator 0.0% of Federal Poverty Level Hawaii has a long history of supporting initiatives to make health insurance broadly available to residents.

Hawaii was among the first six states that implemented a Medicaid program in January 1966, just six months after federal legislation authorizing the program was enacted. In 1974, Hawaii implemented its Prepaid Health Care Act, which mandated that most employers make health insurance available to employees who work at least 20 hours a week.In conjunction with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Hawaii initially implemented a state-run health insurance marketplace and adopted Medicaid expansion. The marketplace transitioned to a federally-supported state-run marketplace for 2016, and transitioned again to a fully federally-run exchange for 2017, largely in an effort to take advantage of the economies of scale that the federally-run exchange could bring to a state with low overall enrollment in the individual market (because of Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act, nearly all non-elderly Hawaii residents get coverage from an employer, and relatively few need coverage under individual market plans). Nothing changed about Medicaid with the switch to Healthcare.gov though.

The expanded Medicaid eligibility guidelines are still in effect in Hawaii.Through its efforts, Hawaii consistently has low uninsured rates and high overall health scores. As of 2015, Hawaii was ranked the healthiest state in the nation according to the Gallup Healthways Physical Wellbeing Index, and the state consistently scores near the top in other ranking systems (number 2 the America’s Health Rankings 2017 survey, and number 3 in the Commonwealth Fund’s 2017 Scorecard on State Health System Performance).Who is eligible for Medicaid in Hawaii?. Hawaii’s Medicaid eligibility levels for children are much higher than the national average and about average for pregnant women and parents.Children ages 0-18 qualify with family income levels up to 308 of the federal poverty level (FPL)Pregnant women qualify with family income up to 191 percent of FPLParents and other adults qualify with family income up to 138 percent of FPLHawaii also uses Medicaid funds to help cover premium costs for Hawaii residents who aren’t U.S. Citizens but who are citizens of nations that have entered into the Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the U.S.How do I enroll in Medicaid in Hawaii?.

Hawaii’s Medicaid program is called MED-QUEST (MQD). QUEST stands for Quality care, Universal access, Efficient utilization, Stabilizing costs, and Transforming the way health care is provided to recipients.You can apply for MED-QUEST. Hawaii Medicaid enrollment numbersMore than 351,000 people were enrolled in Hawaii’s Medicaid and CHIP programs as of June 2020. This figure is a 22% increase over 2013 (pre-ACA) enrollment, when about 288,000 people were enrolled.

Accordingly to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 107,300 of those enrolled in Hawaii Medicaid are part of the ACA-authorized expansion as of June 2019.Hawaii Medicaid historyHawaii implemented its Medicaid program in January 1966.In the early 1990s, Hawaii implemented the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to cover people who weren’t eligible for Medicaid. Then, in 1994, CMS approved Hawaii’s section 1115 Medicaid waiver (one of the first in the nation) to wrap SHIP in with Medicaid in an effort to achieve universal insurance coverage (in combination with the state’s Prepaid Health Care Act). The result of the waiver was the creation of Hawaii’s MED-QUEST program, which initially covered low-income women and children, but has since expanded (as of 2009) to cover nearly all of Hawaii’s Medicaid beneficiaries. The MED-QUEST waiver is subject to renewal every five years.Medicaid in Hawaii is separated into two different methods of providing services.

The fee-for-service (FFS) program and the managed care program, called MED-QUEST or MQD. Under the FFS program, doctors and other healthcare providers bill Medicaid directly to be reimbursed for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. Under MED-QUEST, the state contracts with managed care plans who in turn provide healthcare services to Medicaid beneficiaries.As of 2011, more than 98 percent of the people enrolled in Hawaii’s Medicaid program were covered through managed care. By March 2015, Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 335,007 Medicaid enrollees in Hawaii were covered under managed care programs.

That’s higher than the August 2015 total Medicaid/CHIP enrollment count, but KFF notes that the managed care number includes people who are covered under Hawaii’s fully-state-funded Medicaid program, in addition to the majority of enrollees who are in regular Medicaid that’s funded partially by the state and partially by the federal government.In August 2017, Hawaii submitted a waiver amendment to CMS in order to gain federal approval to use Medicaid funding to provide housing services to qualified Medicaid enrollees who are homeless and also have behavioral health and/or substance abuse problems. That waiver request was still pending as of February 2018.Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts..

Can women use levitra

Credit you can check here can women use levitra. IStock Share Fast Facts New @HopkinsMedicine study finds African-American women with common form of hair loss at increased risk of uterine fibroids - Click to Tweet New study in @JAMADerm shows most common form of alopecia (hair loss) in African-American women associated with higher risks of uterine fibroids - Click to Tweet In a study of medical records gathered on hundreds of thousands of African-American women, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have evidence that women with a common form of hair loss have an increased chance of developing uterine leiomyomas, or fibroids.In a report on the research, published in the December 27 issue of JAMA Dermatology, the researchers call on physicians who treat women with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) to make patients aware that they may be at increased risk for fibroids and should be screened for the condition, particularly if they have symptoms such as heavy bleeding and pain. CCCA predominantly affects black women and is the most common form of permanent alopecia in this can women use levitra population.

The excess scar tissue that forms as a result of this type of hair loss may also explain the higher risk for uterine fibroids, which are characterized by fibrous growths in the lining of the womb. Crystal Aguh, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says the scarring associated with CCCA is similar to the scarring associated with excess fibrous tissue elsewhere in the body, a situation that may explain why women with this type of hair loss are at a higher risk for fibroids.People of African descent, she notes, are more prone to develop other disorders of abnormal scarring, termed fibroproliferative disorders, such as keloids (a type of raised scar after trauma), scleroderma (an autoimmune disorder can women use levitra marked by thickening of the skin as well as internal organs), some types of lupus and clogged arteries. During a four-year period from 2013-2017, the researchers analyzed patient data from the Johns Hopkins electronic medical record system (Epic) of 487,104 black women ages 18 and over.

The prevalence of those with fibroids can women use levitra was compared in patients with and without CCCA. Overall, the researchers found that 13.9 percent of women with CCCA also had a history of uterine fibroids compared to only 3.3 percent of black women without the condition. In absolute numbers, out of the 486,000 women who were reviewed, 16,212 had fibroids.Within that population, 447 had CCCA, of which 62 had fibroids.

The findings translate to a can women use levitra fivefold increased risk of uterine fibroids in women with CCCA, compared to age, sex and race matched controls. Aguh cautions that their study does not suggest any cause and effect relationship, or prove a common cause for both conditions. €œThe cause of the link between the two conditions remains can women use levitra unclear,” she says.

However, the association was strong enough, she adds, to recommend that physicians and patients be made aware of it. Women with this type of scarring alopecia should be can women use levitra screened not only for fibroids, but also for other disorders associated with excess fibrous tissue, Aguh says. An estimated 70 percent of white women and between 80 and 90 percent of African-American women will develop fibroids by age 50, according to the NIH, and while CCCA is likely underdiagnosed, some estimates report a prevalence of rates as high as 17 percent of black women having this condition.

The other authors on this paper were Ginette A can women use levitra. Okoye, M.D. Of Johns Hopkins and Yemisi Dina of Meharry Medical College.Credit.

The New England can women use levitra Journal of Medicine Share Fast Facts This study clears up how big an effect the mutational burden has on outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors across many different cancer types. - Click to Tweet The number of mutations in a tumor’s DNA is a good predictor of whether it will respond to a class of cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. - Click to Tweet The “mutational burden,” or the number of mutations present in a tumor’s DNA, is a good predictor of whether that cancer type will respond can women use levitra to a class of cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors, a new study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers shows.

The finding, published in the Dec. 21 New England Journal of Medicine, could can women use levitra be used to guide future clinical trials for these drugs. Checkpoint inhibitors are a relatively new class of drug that helps the immune system recognize cancer by interfering with mechanisms cancer cells use to hide from immune cells.

As a result, the drugs cause the immune system to fight https://www.voiture-et-handicap.fr/how-much-does-levitra-cost-at-walgreens/ cancer in the same way that it would fight an infection. These medicines have had remarkable success in treating some types of cancers that historically have had poor prognoses, such as advanced melanoma and lung cancer can women use levitra. However, these therapies have had little effect on other deadly cancer types, such as pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma.

The mutational burden of certain tumor types has previously been proposed as an explanation for why certain cancers respond better than others to immune checkpoint inhibitors says can women use levitra study leader Mark Yarchoan, M.D., chief medical oncology fellow. Work by Dung Le, M.D., associate professor of oncology, and other researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Cancer Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy showed that colon cancers that carry a high number of mutations are more likely to respond to checkpoint inhibitors than those that have fewer mutations. However, exactly how big an effect the mutational burden has on outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors across many different can women use levitra cancer types was unclear.

To investigate this question, Yarchoan and colleagues Alexander Hopkins, Ph.D., research fellow, and Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care and associate director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute, combed the medical literature for the results of clinical trials using checkpoint inhibitors on various different types of cancer. They combined these findings with data on the mutational burden of thousands of tumor samples from patients with can women use levitra different tumor types. Analyzing 27 different cancer types for which both pieces of information were available, the researchers found a strong correlation.

The higher a cancer type’s mutational burden tends to be, the more likely it is to respond to checkpoint inhibitors. More than half of can women use levitra the differences in how well cancers responded to immune checkpoint inhibitors could be explained by the mutational burden of that cancer. €œThe idea that a tumor type with more mutations might be easier to treat than one with fewer sounds a little counterintuitive.

It’s one can women use levitra of those things that doesn’t sound right when you hear it,” says Hopkins. €œBut with immunotherapy, the more mutations you have, the more chances the immune system has to recognize the tumor.” Although this finding held true for the vast majority of cancer types they studied, there were some outliers in their analysis, says Yarchoan. For example, Merkel cell cancer, can women use levitra a rare and highly aggressive skin cancer, tends to have a moderate number of mutations yet responds extremely well to checkpoint inhibitors.

However, he explains, this cancer type is often caused by a virus, which seems to encourage a strong immune response despite the cancer’s lower mutational burden. In contrast, the most common type of colorectal cancer has moderate mutational burden, yet responds poorly to checkpoint inhibitors for reasons that are still unclear. Yarchoan notes that these findings could help guide clinical trials to test checkpoint inhibitors on cancer types for which these drugs haven’t yet been tried.

Future studies might also focus on finding ways to prompt cancers with low mutational burdens to behave like those with higher mutational burdens so that they will respond better to these therapies. He and his colleagues plan to extend this line of research by investigating whether mutational burden might be a good predictor of whether cancers in individual patients might respond well to this class of immunotherapy drugs. €œThe end goal is precision medicine—moving beyond what’s true for big groups of patients to see whether we can use this information to help any given patient,” he says.

Yarchoan receives funding from the Norman &. Ruth Rales Foundation and the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Through a licensing agreement with Aduro Biotech, Jaffee has the potential to receive royalties in the future..

Credit https://www.voiture-et-handicap.fr/how-much-does-levitra-cost-at-walgreens/ purchase levitra canada. IStock Share Fast Facts New @HopkinsMedicine study finds African-American women with common form of hair loss at increased risk of uterine fibroids - Click to Tweet New study in @JAMADerm shows most common form of alopecia (hair loss) in African-American women associated with higher risks of uterine fibroids - Click to Tweet In a study of medical records gathered on hundreds of thousands of African-American women, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have evidence that women with a common form of hair loss have an increased chance of developing uterine leiomyomas, or fibroids.In a report on the research, published in the December 27 issue of JAMA Dermatology, the researchers call on physicians who treat women with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) to make patients aware that they may be at increased risk for fibroids and should be screened for the condition, particularly if they have symptoms such as heavy bleeding and pain. CCCA predominantly affects black women and is purchase levitra canada the most common form of permanent alopecia in this population.

The excess scar tissue that forms as a result of this type of hair loss may also explain the higher risk for uterine fibroids, which are characterized by fibrous growths in the lining of the womb. Crystal Aguh, M.D., assistant professor of purchase levitra canada dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says the scarring associated with CCCA is similar to the scarring associated with excess fibrous tissue elsewhere in the body, a situation that may explain why women with this type of hair loss are at a higher risk for fibroids.People of African descent, she notes, are more prone to develop other disorders of abnormal scarring, termed fibroproliferative disorders, such as keloids (a type of raised scar after trauma), scleroderma (an autoimmune disorder marked by thickening of the skin as well as internal organs), some types of lupus and clogged arteries. During a four-year period from 2013-2017, the researchers analyzed patient data from the Johns Hopkins electronic medical record system (Epic) of 487,104 black women ages 18 and over.

The prevalence of those with fibroids was compared in patients with and without CCCA purchase levitra canada. Overall, the researchers found that 13.9 percent of women with CCCA also had a history of uterine fibroids compared to only 3.3 percent of black women without the condition. In absolute numbers, out of the 486,000 women who were reviewed, 16,212 had fibroids.Within that population, 447 had CCCA, of which 62 had fibroids.

The findings translate to purchase levitra canada a fivefold increased risk of uterine fibroids in women with CCCA, compared to age, sex and race matched controls. Aguh cautions that their study does not suggest any cause and effect relationship, or prove a common cause for both conditions. €œThe cause purchase levitra canada of the link between the two conditions remains unclear,” she says.

However, the association was strong enough, she adds, to recommend that physicians and patients be made aware of it. Women with this purchase levitra canada type of scarring alopecia should be screened not only for fibroids, but also for other disorders associated with excess fibrous tissue, Aguh says. An estimated 70 percent of white women and between 80 and 90 percent of African-American women will develop fibroids by age 50, according to the NIH, and while CCCA is likely underdiagnosed, some estimates report a prevalence of rates as high as 17 percent of black women having this condition.

The other authors purchase levitra canada on this paper were Ginette A. Okoye, M.D. Of Johns Hopkins and Yemisi Dina of Meharry Medical College.Credit.

The New England Journal of Medicine Share Fast Facts This study clears up how big an effect the mutational burden has on outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors across many different cancer purchase levitra canada types. - Click to Tweet The number of mutations in a tumor’s DNA is a good predictor of whether it will respond to a class of cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. - Click to Tweet The “mutational burden,” or the number of mutations present in a tumor’s DNA, is a good predictor of whether that cancer type will respond to a class of cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors, a new study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center purchase levitra canada researchers shows.

The finding, published in the Dec. 21 New England Journal of Medicine, could purchase levitra canada be used to guide future clinical trials for these drugs. Checkpoint inhibitors are a relatively new class of drug that helps the immune system recognize cancer by interfering with mechanisms cancer cells use to hide from immune cells.

As a result, the drugs cause the immune system to fight https://www.voiture-et-handicap.fr/how-much-does-levitra-cost-at-walgreens/ cancer in the same way that it would fight an infection. These medicines have had remarkable success in treating some types of cancers that historically have had poor prognoses, such as advanced melanoma purchase levitra canada and lung cancer. However, these therapies have had little effect on other deadly cancer types, such as pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma.

The mutational burden of certain tumor types has previously been proposed purchase levitra canada as an explanation for why certain cancers respond better than others to immune checkpoint inhibitors says study leader Mark Yarchoan, M.D., chief medical oncology fellow. Work by Dung Le, M.D., associate professor of oncology, and other researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Cancer Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy showed that colon cancers that carry a high number of mutations are more likely to respond to checkpoint inhibitors than those that have fewer mutations. However, exactly how big an effect purchase levitra canada the mutational burden has on outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors across many different cancer types was unclear.

To investigate this question, Yarchoan and colleagues Alexander Hopkins, Ph.D., research fellow, and Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care and associate director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute, combed the medical literature for the results of clinical trials using checkpoint inhibitors on various different types of cancer. They combined these findings with data on the mutational burden of thousands of tumor samples from patients with different tumor types purchase levitra canada. Analyzing 27 different cancer types for which both pieces of information were available, the researchers found a strong correlation.

The higher a cancer type’s mutational burden tends to be, the more likely it is to respond to checkpoint inhibitors. More than half of the differences in how well cancers responded to immune checkpoint inhibitors could be explained by the mutational burden of that cancer purchase levitra canada. €œThe idea that a tumor type with more mutations might be easier to treat than one with fewer sounds a little counterintuitive.

It’s one of those things that doesn’t sound right when you hear it,” purchase levitra canada says Hopkins. €œBut with immunotherapy, the more mutations you have, the more chances the immune system has to recognize the tumor.” Although this finding held true for the vast majority of cancer types they studied, there were some outliers in their analysis, says Yarchoan. For example, Merkel cell cancer, a rare purchase levitra canada and highly aggressive skin cancer, tends to have a moderate number of mutations yet responds extremely well to checkpoint inhibitors.

However, he explains, this cancer type is often caused by a virus, which seems to encourage a strong immune response despite the cancer’s lower mutational burden. In contrast, the most common type of colorectal cancer has moderate mutational burden, yet responds poorly to checkpoint inhibitors for reasons that are still unclear. Yarchoan notes that these findings could help guide clinical trials to test purchase levitra canada checkpoint inhibitors on cancer types for which these drugs haven’t yet been tried.

Future studies might also focus on finding ways to prompt cancers with low mutational burdens to behave like those with higher mutational burdens so that they will respond better to these therapies. He and his colleagues plan to extend this line of research by investigating whether mutational burden might be a good predictor of whether cancers in individual patients might respond well to this class of immunotherapy drugs. €œThe end goal is precision medicine—moving beyond what’s true for big groups of patients to see whether we can use this information to help any given patient,” he says.

Yarchoan receives funding from the Norman &. Ruth Rales Foundation and the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Through a licensing agreement with Aduro Biotech, Jaffee has the potential to receive royalties in the future..

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Start Preamble levitra 20mg manufacturer coupon Centers for buy levitra canadian pharmacy Medicare &. Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Continuation of buy levitra canadian pharmacy effectiveness and extension of timeline for publication of the final rule.

This document announces the continuation of, effectiveness of, and the extension of the timeline for publication of a final rule. We are issuing this document in accordance with section 1871(a)(3)(C) of the Social Security Act (the Act), which allows an interim final rule to remain in effect after the expiration of the timeline specified in section 1871(a)(3)(B) of the Act if the Secretary publishes a notice of continuation explaining why we did not comply with the regular publication timeline. Effective September 4, 2020, the Medicare provisions adopted in the interim final rule published on September 6, 2016 (81 FR 61538), continue buy levitra canadian pharmacy in effect and the regular timeline for publication of the final rule is extended for an additional year, until September 6, 2021.

Start Further Info Steve Forry (410) 786-1564 or Jaqueline Cipa (410) 786-3259. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Section 1871(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) sets forth certain procedures for promulgating regulations necessary to carry out the administration of the insurance programs under Title XVIII of the Act. Section 1871(a)(3)(A) of the Act requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to establish a regular timeline for the publication of final regulations based on the previous publication of a proposed rule or buy levitra canadian pharmacy an interim final rule.

In accordance with section 1871(a)(3)(B) of the Act, such timeline may vary among different rules, based on the complexity of the rule, the number and scope of the comments received, and other relevant factors. However, the timeline for publishing the final rule, cannot exceed 3 years from the date of publication of the proposed or interim final rule, unless there are exceptional circumstances. After consultation with the Director of OMB, the Secretary published a document, which appeared in the December 30, 2004 Federal Register on (69 FR buy levitra canadian pharmacy 78442), establishing a general 3-year timeline for publishing Medicare final rules after the publication of a proposed or interim final rule.

Section 1871(a)(3)(C) of the Act states that upon expiration of the regular timeline for the publication of a final regulation after opportunity for public comment, a Medicare interim final rule shall not continue in effect unless the Secretary publishes a notice of continuation of the regulation that includes an explanation of why the regular timeline was not met. Upon publication of such notice, the regular timeline for publication of the final regulation is treated as having been extended for 1 additional year. On September 6, 2016 Federal Register (81 FR 61538), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a department-wide interim final rule titled “Adjustment of buy levitra canadian pharmacy Civil Monetary Penalties for Inflation” that established new regulations at 45 CFR part 102 to adjust for inflation the maximum civil monetary penalty amounts for the various civil monetary penalty authorities for all agencies within the Department.

HHS took this action to comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act) (28 U.S.C. 2461 note 2(a)), as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (section 701 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, (Pub. L.

114-74), enacted on November 2, 2015). In addition, this September 2016 interim final rule included updates to certain agency-specific regulations to reflect the new provisions governing the adjustment of civil monetary penalties for inflation in 45 CFR part 102. One of the purposes of the Inflation Adjustment Act was to create a mechanism to allow for regular inflationary adjustments to federal civil monetary penalties.

Section 2(b)(1) of the Inflation Adjustment Act. The 2015 amendments removed an inflation update exclusion that previously Start Printed Page 55386applied to the Social Security Act as well as to the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The 2015 amendments also “reset” the inflation calculations by excluding prior inflationary adjustments under the Inflation Adjustment Act and requiring agencies to identify, for each penalty, the year and corresponding amount(s) for which the maximum penalty level or range of minimum and maximum penalties was established (that is, originally enacted by Congress) or last adjusted other than pursuant to the Inflation Adjustment Act.

In accordance with section 4 of the Inflation Adjustment Act, agencies were required to. (1) Adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment through an interim final rulemaking (IFR) to take effect by August 1, 2016. And (2) make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation.

In the September 2016 interim final rule, HHS adopted new regulations at 45 CFR part 102 to govern adjustment of civil monetary penalties for inflation. The regulation at 45 CFR 102.1 provides that part 102 applies to each statutory provision under the laws administered by the Department of Health and Human Services concerning civil monetary penalties, and that the regulations in part 102 supersede existing HHS regulations setting forth civil monetary penalty amounts. The civil money penalties and the adjusted penalty amounts administered by all HHS agencies are listed in tabular form in 45 CFR 102.3.

In addition to codifying the adjusted penalty amounts identified in § 102.3, the HHS-wide interim final rule included several technical conforming updates to certain agency-specific regulations, including various CMS regulations, to identify their updated information, and incorporate a cross-reference to the location of HHS-wide regulations. Because the conforming changes to the Medicare provisions were part of a larger, omnibus departmental interim final rule, we inadvertently missed setting a target date for the final rule to make permanent the changes to the Medicare regulations in accordance with section 1871(a)(3)(A) of the Act and the procedures outlined in the December 2004 document. Therefore, in the January 2, 2020 Federal Register (85 FR 7), we published a document continuing the effectiveness of effect and the regular timeline for publication of the final rule for an additional year, until September 6, 2020.

Consistent with section 1871(a)(3)(C) of the Act, we are publishing this second notice of continuation extending the effectiveness of the technical conforming changes to the Medicare regulations that were implemented through interim final rule and to allow time to publish a final rule. On January 31, 2020, pursuant to section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), the Secretary determined that a Public Health Emergency (PHE) exists for the United States to aid the nation's healthcare community in responding to COVID-19. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) publicly declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

On March 13, 2020, the President declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency. This declaration, along with the Secretary's January 31, 2020 declaration of a PHE, conferred on the Secretary certain waiver authorities under section 1135 of the Act. On March 13, 2020, the Secretary authorized waivers under section 1135 of the Act, effective March 1, 2020.[] Effective July 25, 2020, the Secretary renewed the January 31, 2020 determination that was previously renewed on April 21, 2020, that a PHE exists and has existed since January 27, 2020.

The unprecedented nature of this national emergency has placed enormous responsibilities upon CMS to respond appropriately, and resources have had to be re-allocated throughout the agency in order to be responsive. Therefore, the Medicare provisions adopted in interim final regulation continue in effect and the regular timeline for publication of the final rule is extended for an additional year, until September 6, 2021. Start Signature Wilma M.

Robinson, Deputy Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc. 2020-19657 Filed 9-4-20.

8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4120-01-PThis document is unpublished. It is scheduled to be published on 09/18/2020. Once it is published it will be available on this page in an official form.

Until then, you can download the unpublished PDF version. Although we make a concerted effort to reproduce the original document in full on our Public Inspection pages, in some cases graphics may not be displayed, and non-substantive markup language may appear alongside substantive text. If you are using public inspection listings for legal research, you should verify the contents of documents against a final, official edition of the Federal Register.

Only official editions of the Federal Register provide legal notice to the public and judicial notice to the courts under 44 U.S.C. 1503 &. 1507.

Start Preamble Centers for purchase levitra canada Medicare &. Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Continuation of effectiveness and purchase levitra canada extension of timeline for publication of the final rule. This document announces the continuation of, effectiveness of, and the extension of the timeline for publication of a final rule.

We are issuing this document in accordance with section 1871(a)(3)(C) of the Social Security Act (the Act), which allows an interim final rule to remain in effect after the expiration of the timeline specified in section 1871(a)(3)(B) of the Act if the Secretary publishes a notice of continuation explaining why we did not comply with the regular publication timeline. Effective September 4, 2020, the Medicare provisions adopted in the interim final rule published on September 6, 2016 (81 FR 61538), continue in effect and the regular purchase levitra canada timeline for publication of the final rule is extended for an additional year, until September 6, 2021. Start Further Info Steve Forry (410) 786-1564 or Jaqueline Cipa (410) 786-3259. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Section 1871(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) sets forth certain procedures for promulgating regulations necessary to carry out the administration of the insurance programs under Title XVIII of the Act.

Section 1871(a)(3)(A) of purchase levitra canada the Act requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to establish a regular timeline for the publication of final regulations based on the previous publication of a proposed rule or an interim final rule. In accordance with section 1871(a)(3)(B) of the Act, such timeline may vary among different rules, based on the complexity of the rule, the number and scope of the comments received, and other relevant factors. However, the timeline for publishing the final rule, cannot exceed 3 years from the date of publication of the proposed or interim final rule, unless there are exceptional circumstances. After consultation with the Director purchase levitra canada of OMB, the Secretary published a document, which appeared in the December 30, 2004 Federal Register on (69 FR 78442), establishing a general 3-year timeline for publishing Medicare final rules after the publication of a proposed or interim final rule.

Section 1871(a)(3)(C) of the Act states that upon expiration of the regular timeline for the publication of a final regulation after opportunity for public comment, a Medicare interim final rule shall not continue in effect unless the Secretary publishes a notice of continuation of the regulation that includes an explanation of why the regular timeline was not met. Upon publication of such notice, the regular timeline for publication of the final regulation is treated as having been extended for 1 additional year. On September 6, 2016 Federal Register (81 FR 61538), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued purchase levitra canada a department-wide interim final rule titled “Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties for Inflation” that established new regulations at 45 CFR part 102 to adjust for inflation the maximum civil monetary penalty amounts for the various civil monetary penalty authorities for all agencies within the Department. HHS took this action to comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act) (28 U.S.C.

2461 note 2(a)), as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (section 701 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, (Pub. L. 114-74), enacted on November 2, 2015). In addition, this September 2016 interim final rule included updates to certain agency-specific regulations to reflect the new provisions governing the adjustment of civil monetary penalties for inflation in 45 CFR part 102.

One of the purposes of the Inflation Adjustment Act was to create a mechanism to allow for regular inflationary adjustments to federal civil monetary penalties. Section 2(b)(1) of the Inflation Adjustment Act. The 2015 amendments removed an inflation update exclusion that previously Start Printed Page 55386applied to the Social Security Act as well as to the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The 2015 amendments also “reset” the inflation calculations by excluding prior inflationary adjustments under the Inflation Adjustment Act and requiring agencies to identify, for each penalty, the year and corresponding amount(s) for which the maximum penalty level or range of minimum and maximum penalties was established (that is, originally enacted by Congress) or last adjusted other than pursuant to the Inflation Adjustment Act.

In accordance with section 4 of the Inflation Adjustment Act, agencies were required to. (1) Adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment through an interim final rulemaking (IFR) to take effect by August 1, 2016. And (2) make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. In the September 2016 interim final rule, HHS adopted new regulations at 45 CFR part 102 to govern adjustment of civil monetary penalties for inflation.

The regulation at 45 CFR 102.1 provides that part 102 applies to each statutory provision under the laws administered by the Department of Health and Human Services concerning civil monetary penalties, and that the regulations in part 102 supersede existing HHS regulations setting forth civil monetary penalty amounts. The civil money penalties and the adjusted penalty amounts administered by all HHS agencies are listed in tabular form in 45 CFR 102.3. In addition to codifying the adjusted penalty amounts identified in § 102.3, the HHS-wide interim final rule included several technical conforming updates to certain agency-specific regulations, including various CMS regulations, to identify their updated information, and incorporate a cross-reference to the location of HHS-wide regulations. Because the conforming changes to the Medicare provisions were part of a larger, omnibus departmental interim final rule, we inadvertently missed setting a target date for the final rule to make permanent the changes to the Medicare regulations in accordance with section 1871(a)(3)(A) of the Act and the procedures outlined in the December 2004 document.

Therefore, in the January 2, 2020 Federal Register (85 FR 7), we published a document continuing the effectiveness of effect and the regular timeline for publication of the final rule for an additional year, until September 6, 2020. Consistent with section 1871(a)(3)(C) of the Act, we are publishing this second notice of continuation extending the effectiveness of the technical conforming changes to the Medicare regulations that were implemented through interim final rule and to allow time to publish a final rule. On January 31, 2020, pursuant to section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), the Secretary determined that a Public Health Emergency (PHE) exists for the United States to aid the nation's healthcare community in responding to COVID-19. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) publicly declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

On March 13, 2020, the President declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency. This declaration, along with the Secretary's January 31, 2020 declaration of a PHE, conferred on the Secretary certain waiver authorities under section 1135 of the Act. On March 13, 2020, the Secretary authorized waivers under section 1135 of the Act, effective March 1, 2020.[] Effective July 25, 2020, the Secretary renewed the January 31, 2020 determination that was previously renewed on April 21, 2020, that a PHE exists and has existed since January 27, 2020. The unprecedented nature of this national emergency has placed enormous responsibilities upon CMS to respond appropriately, and resources have had to be re-allocated throughout the agency in order to be responsive.

Therefore, the Medicare provisions adopted in interim final regulation continue in effect and the regular timeline for publication of the final rule is extended for an additional year, until September 6, 2021. Start Signature Wilma M. Robinson, Deputy Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc.

2020-19657 Filed 9-4-20. 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4120-01-PThis document is unpublished. It is scheduled to be published on 09/18/2020. Once it is published it will be available on this page in an official form.

Until then, you can download the unpublished PDF version. Although we make a concerted effort to reproduce the original document in full on our Public Inspection pages, in some cases graphics may not be displayed, and non-substantive markup language may appear alongside substantive text. If you are using public inspection listings for legal research, you should verify the contents of documents against a final, official edition of the Federal Register. Only official editions of the Federal Register provide legal notice to the public and judicial notice to the courts under 44 U.S.C.

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