HHS To Dole Out Funds for Insurance Reviews, Healthy Behaviors
The funding is part of $250 million allotted by the federal health reform law for reviewing rate increases. HHS awarded $46 million to 45 states and the District of Columbia in August 2010 to help them improve their rate review functions.
The agency in December 2010 issued preliminary regulations mandated under the reform law that would require health insurance companies to disclose and justify any premium increases of 10% or more beginning this year. The rules stipulate that states must either review rate increases of 10% or more beginning in July or allow HHS to assess them instead.
The new grant money is available through four categories:
- Three-year "baseline" grants of $3 million per state;
- Two-year baseline grants of $2 million;
- "Workload grants" totaling $22.5 million for states with large populations and multiple insurers; and
- "Performance incentives" grants totaling $27.5 million for states with the statutory authority to approve or reject rate increases (Vesely, Modern Healthcare, 2/24).
HHS Provides Funds for Medicaid Incentives
The funding would reward people who quit smoking, lose weight and take steps to control diabetes (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 2/24).
According to HHS, "Rewards could range from direct cash incentives, gift cards to grocery stores or other retailers, reduced Medicaid program fees â¦ or offering services not normally available through Medicaid" (Modern Healthcare, 2/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.