The Health News USA December 13 2017

  • The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is notifying 47,000 clients their records may have been breached — and it’s the second breach notification about the same incident because the Department of Homeland Security neglected to alert the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the first time.
  • More than a million people in Florida have gained health insurance since the Affordable Care Act exchange launched in 2014 , and many more have seen their coverage improve as a result of the health law’s benefit requirements. As rates skyrocket, and uncertainty over the health law threatens to push premiums even higher, consumers who buy their own coverage and earn too much to qualify for financial aid are bearing the brunt of price increases.
  • The Trump administration came into office looking to dismantle Barack Obama’s health care law, but the Affordable Care Act survived. Now the administration is on the hook to deliver a smooth ending to sign-up season, with a crush of customers expected this week. For millions of eligible consumers time runs out on Friday. December 15 is the last day for procrastinators to enroll in subsidized private coverage in thirty nine states served by the federal HealthCare.gov website

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/oklahoma-health-department-alerts-47000-clients-about-data-breach-2nd-time

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is notifying forty seven thousand clients their records may have been breached — and it’s the second breach notification about the same incident because the Department of Homeland Security neglected to alert the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the first time.  An unauthorized user accessed a state assessment computer at Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Oklahoma, in April two thousand sixteen. The server contained the names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of both current and former DHS Temporary Assistance for Needy Families clients.

The college secured the data and all organizations involved have employed monitoring efforts after the breach to prevent another attack. The college was notified of the unauthorized access about two weeks afterward, and the DHS Office of Inspector General was notified in May two thousand sixteen, while clients were notified in August two thousand sixteen. However, U.S. DHS was not informed of the breach.

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The incident highlights the need for healthcare organization leaders to fully understand breach-reporting requirements as they fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act . And it serves as a reminder that all providers must report an incident to patients, the media and HHS within sixty days of discovering a breach.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article188987144.html

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More than a million people in Florida have gained health insurance since the Affordable Care Act exchange launched in two thousand fourteen, and many more have seen their coverage improve as a result of the health law’s benefit requirements. As rates skyrocket, and uncertainty over the health law threatens to push premiums even higher, consumers who buy their own coverage and earn too much to qualify for financial aid are bearing the brunt of price increases.
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The cause for uncertainty has been relentless— from Congress’ failed attempts to adopt legislation that would repeal and replace the ACA, to President Donald Trump’s repeated remarks about the implosion of Obamacare, to executive actions that canceled a key subsidy for low-income Americans. Like many ACA insurers, Florida Blue said it raised rates by twenty percent just to account for the president’s canceling the subsidy that helps low-income consumers cover their out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and copayments.

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In Florida, where ACA exchange rates for two thousand eighteen coverage rose by forty five percent on average.  About seven million Americans buy their own coverage but they receive no financial aid.  In two thousand seventeen, about five point three million Americans bought an ACA plan off the exchange, where financial aid is not available, according to the Kaiser and Mark Farrah analyses. An additional one point six million consumers, including about one hundred thousand people in Florida, bought coverage on the ACA exchange in two thousand seventeen but earned too much to qualify for financial help, according to federal regulators at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

https://www.newsday.com/news/nation/health-care-sign-up-1.15415645

The Trump administration came into office looking to dismantle Barack Obama’s health care law, but the Affordable Care Act survived. Now the administration is on the hook to deliver a smooth ending to sign-up season, with a crush of consumers expected this week. For millions of eligible consumers time runs out on Friday. December fifteen is the last day for procrastinators to enroll in subsidized private coverage in thirty nine states served by the federal HealthCare.gov website. Consumer interest has remained brisk, even as the Trump administration cut the sign-up season in half, reducing it from roughly from ninety days to forty five days.

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Heavy traffic could slow the website, and lead to long hold times at the federal call center. For the vast majority, this is the last opportunity to secure coverage for two thousand eighteen, or switch from an existing plan. One exception: People living in hurricane-affected areas can get an extension to sign up by December thirty one by contacting the HealthCare.gov call center. That could make a difference in states such as Texas and Florida.

Enrollment fluctuates in the course of the year, but it’s estimated that nine million to ten million people currently have coverage through the ACA’s marketplaces. The markets cater to people who don’t have access to a job-based plan, and participation is expected to dip somewhat next year.

In a twist, many people eligible for financial help may actually be able to pay lower premiums in two thousand eighteen. Although list price premiums for the most popular plans went up sharply, so did taxpayer-provided subsidies that limit how much individuals actually have to pay. In many communities, bare-bones “bronze” plans are available for no monthly premium to those eligible for subsidies. Insurers says that sign-up season has been free of problems up to now. Scheduled early Sunday maintenance shutdowns have not been a disruption.

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