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Medicaid expansion, uninsured coverage issues continue to simmer in Virginia

More than six out of 10 Virginia voters support an expansion of Medicaid benefits to cover the estimated 400,000 state residents in the coverage gap, according to a new survey released on the eve of a special session of the Virginia General Assembly to discuss the issue. But nearly half of Virginians surveyed have doubts that the federal government would fully fund its share of the program, according to the poll, conducted by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University (Nolan, 9/17). [More]
High impact health interventions reduce maternal and child mortality in poor countries

High impact health interventions reduce maternal and child mortality in poor countries

New studies have uncovered the specific interventions and advances that have led to the success with these at-risk populations in the poorest countries. [More]
State highlights: N.Y. sues drugmaker over Alzheimer's drug switch; Ariz. Republican resigns over Medicaid remarks

State highlights: N.Y. sues drugmaker over Alzheimer's drug switch; Ariz. Republican resigns over Medicaid remarks

New York State's attorney general filed an antitrust lawsuit on Monday seeking to stop a pharmaceutical company from forcing patients with Alzheimer's disease to switch to a new version of a widely used drug. The lawsuit contends that the switch is designed to blunt competition from low-priced generic versions of the medication (Pollack, 9/15). [More]
Missing paperwork puts coverage at risk for tens of thousands of people

Missing paperwork puts coverage at risk for tens of thousands of people

According to the Obama administration, as many as 115,000 people could lose the new insurance they obtained under the health law because they did not prove they were legal immigrants or U.S. citizens who were eligible for that coverage. Another 363,000 people must submit documentation to verify their incomes by Sept. 30 or lose their subsidies. These two numbers combined represent about 10 percent of the people who signed up through the online insurance marketplaces. [More]
Covered California unveils ad campaign, awards $14.6M for outreach

Covered California unveils ad campaign, awards $14.6M for outreach

And new enrollment numbers for that state show a growing individual insurance market, officials said. Meanwhile, a Nebraska woman recounts her experience as a navigator, and Oregon officials say a tax credit error will affect fewer people than expected. [More]
Viewpoints: New uninsured numbers are outdated; chiropractors' unusual move into nutrition

Viewpoints: New uninsured numbers are outdated; chiropractors' unusual move into nutrition

The federal government released some very reliable estimates of how many people had health insurance in the first three months of 2014. [More]
Viewpoints: Crediting the health law for modest premium increases; Hollywood misses the mark on sick teens

Viewpoints: Crediting the health law for modest premium increases; Hollywood misses the mark on sick teens

The rate of growth on premiums for employer-based health coverage in the first five months of this year was one of the lowest in 16 years. Despite longstanding concerns that employer-sponsored coverage might become too costly to sustain, that market seems to have stabilized for now .... Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, federal tax credit subsidies -; available for people earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($95,400 for a family of four) -; are helping to make these policies affordable and cushioning the impact of premium increases in some cities (9/14). [More]
State Highlights: Calif. prop 45 ad truth check; Medi-Cal autism coverage

State Highlights: Calif. prop 45 ad truth check; Medi-Cal autism coverage

Proposition 45 would give California's elected insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive health insurance rate hikes, a power the commissioner already wields for auto and homeowners insurance rates. The campaign against it -- for which the insurance industry has so far put up $37.3 million -- is now airing a 60-second radio ad narrated by a nurse named Candy Campbell. [More]
Early-stage Hodgkin's disease patients who receive radiation therapy have better survival rate

Early-stage Hodgkin's disease patients who receive radiation therapy have better survival rate

Patients with stage I and II Hodgkin's Disease who receive radiation therapy (RT) have a higher 10-year survival rate -- 84 percent compared to 76 percent - than those who do not, according to a study presented by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 56th Annual Meeting today. [More]

Study: Subsidy quirk means young people pay more for bronze plans

How the government calculates insurance subsidies makes the cheapest bronze plans more costly for young people relative to those aged 54 to 64, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Meanwhile, Oregon budgets $2 million for a lawsuit fight with Oracle over its health insurance marketplace. [More]
Obamacare boosts bottom lines of Washington hospitals

Obamacare boosts bottom lines of Washington hospitals

Hospitals attribute the 30 percent reduction in uncompensated care to the expansion of Medicaid and private coverage under the federal health law. [More]

Advocates to refine health enrollment message

When sign-ups begin in November, advocates and those giving enrollment assistance will use lessons from last fall to help attract new customers and help those re-enrolling. Also, several news outlets look at the challenges for consumers. [More]
State highlights: States want home care worker wage changes delayed; Ga. delays nursing home rate hike

State highlights: States want home care worker wage changes delayed; Ga. delays nursing home rate hike

State officials that argued against providing overtime and minimum wage protections to the nation's 2 million home care workers are asking the Department of Labor to push back a Jan. 1 start date for the policy to take effect. State Medicaid officials concerned that their costs will rise are asking for a delay and tweaks to the policy, even though the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized the rule a year ago. [More]
Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

This policy brief reports the findings of a systematic review conducted by the Community Health Innovations in Prevention for Seniors (CHIPS) project. ... Clinical preventive services such as colorectal cancer screening and pneumococcal immunization can help reduce rates of premature death and disability. Yet, many older adults are not receiving the full set of clinical preventive services that have been proven effective and are considered "high value" in terms of their costs per life saved. Rates are particularly low among racial and ethnic minority older adults compared to national goals. [More]
Groups get $3.2 million to enroll minorities in Obamacare

Groups get $3.2 million to enroll minorities in Obamacare

Federal health officials award grants to 13 community organizations to sign up racial and ethnic minorities in health plans through online insurance marketplaces. Meanwhile, a group of South Florida hospitals raises money to help low-income patients pay their insurance premiums, and Massachusetts details plans to re-enroll 450,000 residents. [More]

PwC's HRI releases new report on retail health insurance

PwC's Health Research Institute today released a new report – The Rise of Retail Health Coverage – detailing how retail health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, are dramatically changing both the employer benefits environment and the health insurance business. [More]
HolaDoctor launches new Interactive Health Insurance Center to educate Hispanics

HolaDoctor launches new Interactive Health Insurance Center to educate Hispanics

HolaDoctor.com, the leading health website in the Hispanic digital market, launched a new Interactive Health Insurance Center which aims to inform and educate Hispanics on how to apply for and acquire health coverage in 2015. [More]
Arches Health partners with Symptomly to provide more integrated care strategy to asthmatics

Arches Health partners with Symptomly to provide more integrated care strategy to asthmatics

Arches Health Plan announced today that it has partnered with Symptomly to provide a more integrated care strategy to asthmatic members. [More]
State highlights: Scrutiny on for-profit surgery centers after Joan Rivers' death; Kaiser agrees to $4 million fine

State highlights: Scrutiny on for-profit surgery centers after Joan Rivers' death; Kaiser agrees to $4 million fine

A selection of health policy stories from New York, California, the District of Columbia, North Carolina and Georgia. [More]

Some Calif. consumers who bought exchange plans are being dropped or transferred to Medicaid

The shifts, which often happen without warning, come as the state works to verify incomes and make sure consumers are in appropriate health plans, the Associated Press reports. [More]