House Republicans are looking at delaying the Affordable Care Act's tax on health insurance for only some markets next year, leaving the tax in place for small businesses and potentially private Medicaid plans. The tax would be suspended for all markets in 2019 if the measure is included in a year-end bill that also might delay the medical device tax, relax health savings account restrictions and put the Cadillac tax on hold.
The CMS could ask insurers to return cost-sharing reduction payments they have already spent on low-income patients since the payments were cut off in October if Congress doesn't act on the issue, according to Standard and Poor's analyst Deep Banerjee. The agency said in October that although insurers would be accountable if they received "overpayments" of CSRs for 2016, the CMS would not reimburse any shortfalls, and the same may be true for 2017, Banerjee said.
House and Senate lawmakers voted Thursday to approve a short-term spending bill that would fund federal programs through Dec. 22, preventing an immediate government shutdown. The legislation, which goes to President Donald Trump for his expected signature, includes funding for several states running out of money for the Children's Health Insurance Program.
AHIP's Executive Leadership Programs' (ELP) Call for Applications is now open. ELP Fellows are health plan leaders who will ask the tough questions. They have an acute interest in leading our health care system through positive change. They have the passion to find solutions to health care's most complex challenges. Learn more and see if you meet the criteria.
Employers tend to have a more positive outlook about the impact of their wellness programs than employees do, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson. The survey finds access to on-site clinics tends to be associated with a favorable perception of wellness programs among employees.
Employee benefit trends on the horizon include a greater number of choices, flexibility in changing selections and personalized plans, experts told the American Benefits Council's 50th Anniversary Symposium. Kevin Avery of ConocoPhillips said recruiting the best employees will require companies to meet their needs for paid-leave policies, flexible scheduling and work/life balance.
A study in Diabetes Care showed that homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, two-hour glucose, fasting insulin, C-reactive protein, triglycerides and waist circumference were negatively associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity among prediabetes patients. UK researchers used a cohort of 2,326 adults and found positive correlations between sedentary time and HOMA-IR, fasting insulin, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, C-reactive protein, triglycerides and waist circumference.
A study estimated the number of US Alzheimer's disease cases will double by 2060, and author Ron Brookmeyer said it highlights the need for ways to better identify people who will develop the disease and for new interventions to slow or stop disease progression. The research, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, found that about 5.7 million people will have mild cognitive impairment and 9.3 million will have Alzheimer's disease by 2060.
Infant rice cereals had sixfold higher levels of inorganic arsenic, on average, compared with other grain cereals, according to a Healthy Babies Bright Futures report. The findings also showed arsenic levels in infant rice cereals averaged 85 parts per billion, lower than the average arsenic level of 103 ppb found in a FDA study in 2013 and 2014, while the highest amounts of arsenic were found in brown rice cereals.
A study in Pediatrics that analyzed 31 G- and PG-rated movies from 2012 through to 2015 found they all promoted obesity or unhealthy food or beverage choices at least one time, and most had the themes throughout the film. Healthy foods often were linked to negative or neutral emotions, less nutritious foods were more likely to be cast in a positive way, and overweight and obese characters were depicted negatively.
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