Midweek update

Greetings from Corolla NC.  Yesterday, the ACA regulators issued FAQ 32 which concerns the relationship between COBRA continuation coverage (TCC is the FEHBP analog to COBRA) and the ACA marketplaces.  FAQ 32 begs the question why didn’t Congress simply repeal COBRA and TCC when it implemented the marketplace. That would have simplified the system and added more people to the marketplace.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to review the D.C. Circuit’s decision on which the now retired OPM Inspector General relied to challenge Beth Cobert’s authority to serve as acting OPM Director while the Senate considered her permanent nomination.  We won’t see a Supreme Court decision for several months and the Obama Administration which asked the Supreme Court to take this action disagreed with the retired OPM Inspector General. The FEHBlog sides with the Obama Administration here (at least with respect to the Director’s authority).

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) released its 2017 healthcare cost projection.  “PwC’s Health Research Institute projects the 2017 medical cost trend to be the same as the current year – a 6.5% growth rate.” That’s quite a bit above inflation.

The Health Care Cost Institute released a report on diabetes spending.

The report, 2014 Diabetes Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, examines how much is spent on health care for adults and children with diabetes, where those dollars are spent, and how that compares to people without diabetes. It is based on the health care claims of more than 40 million Americans younger than 65 covered by ESI from 2012 to 2014. People diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes accounted for five percent of the ESI population in 2014. 

Similarly, Fierce Healthcare reports on an AHIP Insitute panel last week which discussed approaches to covering health plan members with chronic illnesses like diabetes.

A couple months ago, the Washington Post reported the health care problems afflicting rural America.  Stat offers an interesting article on a public health worker who is trying to tackle these problems.

Finally the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan offered his party’s health care reform task force report.

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