Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


Employer Mandate and Other ACA Provisions to Begin in 2015

This year will see the onset of a number of important provisions included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The employer mandate goes into effect on January 1, when larger employers will be required to offer health care insurance. January 1st also marks the expiration of the ACA’s temporary pay raise for primary care doctors who treat Medicaid patients. At this time, family physicians will begin to see a 43 percent decrease in their reimbursement rates for these patients. The financial penalty associated with the individual mandate will go into effect for the first time during tax season this spring. Individuals without health insurance will be required to pay a fine of $95 or 1 percent of their income, whichever is higher. While the ACA reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2019, the program was only funded through September, 2015. Congress has yet to take steps to fund the program, despite pleas from governors for a decision to be made as state governments attempt to budget without the knowledge of whether CHIP will be extended beyond September 30, 2015 or eliminated.

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