Healthcare work force receives $1 billion from Obama administration to boost its size

The Obama administration has announced that it will be offering a grant program worth $1 billion to provide medical organizations with the opportunity to hire, train, and implementation of new workers. According to an announcement from the administration, the grant program has been named the Health Care Innovation Challenge and has been created in order to discover “the most compelling new ideas to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen…

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Fate of the insurance industry may rest upon the Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal health insurance mandate

The future of the Affordable Care Act will soon rest in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. The law, passed last year, has generated an overwhelming amount of controversy surrounding the various provisions it seeks to enact. No provision is more controversial than the health insurance mandate, which requires all U.S. citizens to purchase some kind of health insurance by 2014. To date, 26 states have filed lawsuits against the federal government seeking to have the law deemed unconstitutional. Judges in these states have already branded the law as…

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Long-Term health care plan axed by the Department of Health and Human Services

Last week, the Obama administration announced that it will be cancelling the long-term care insurance program that would have been created from the Affordable Care Act. The program, known as Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS), would have brought aid to those suffering from chronic illness and disability, was determined to be a detriment to the overall economic health of the nation, leading Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to discontinue the program. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act claim this as a major…

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New website allows users to watch rate increases for health insurance

Web users across the United States can use a new federal website to watch the status of a health insurer in order to determine whether or not that company has increased its rates, and may view the insurer’s justification for doing so. According to the deputy director for oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services, Steve Larsen, the data now available on this website is information that was primarily unavailable before the site’s launch. There were only a few states that offered rate increases on their official websites.…

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Rates for Medicare Advantage to fall as enrollment soars

Rebuking the notion that health insurance premiums will reach new highs as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration spoke with reporters on Thursday and insisted that premiums for Medicare Advantage policies will fall in 2012. Medicare Advantage is one of the more popular federal health care plans and boasts of lower deductibles than other insurance programs. The program accounts for only a quarter of the 48 million policies currently in effect through Medicare. Officials also noted that they expect to see enrollment rates for the program…

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The criteria that states must meet for health insurance exchange marketplace

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is awarding 13 states as well as Washington D.C. a total of $185 million to help to fund the planning and creation of the state-based insurance exchanges that are required by the federal healthcare overhaul. Each will receive a different amount as their portion of the total. For example, California will receive $38 million in order to create its exchange. The governors of the recipient states received a letter from secretary Kathleen Sebelius of HHS, which described the various options and resources…

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Department of Health and Human Services approves full coverage of birth control

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a statement that included new guidelines regarding the required full coverage of a number of women’s preventative services – such as voluntary sterilization and birth control – by health insurance companies from August 1, 2012 onward. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from the HHS explained that the department’s decision was made as a part of the strategy from the Affordable Care Act to halt problems before they occur. In a press release, she said that the new coverage guidelines “are based…

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