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Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers: Current Status and Potential Changes

Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorizes states to waive key requirements under the law in order to experiment with different health coverage models. As Republicans in Congress debate repeal and replacement of the ACA, renewed attention is being paid to these waivers as a mechanism for giving states flexibility to restructure their health care markets. This brief describes current 1332 waiver activity, including proposals in the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), and raises questions regarding the future of these waivers, particularly in the context of proposed changes under discussion.

No Easy Choices: 5 Options to Respond to Per Capita Caps

Under a per capita cap, per enrollee spending would be capped, but the total amount of federal dollars to states could vary with enrollment changes and states would not be able to impose enrollment caps. Faced with restrictions in federal financing, states would have to make hard choices. This brief outlines the key measures states could use to manage their budgets and the associated challenges under a per capita cap: raise taxes or make other cuts, reduce benefits, limit coverage of high cost enrollees, reduce rates or implement delivery system reforms, and promote personal responsibility. Each option has challenges that are identified in the brief.

Would States Eliminate Key Benefits if AHCA Waivers are Enacted?

This analysis offers a window into how insurers could respond if the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits requirement is rolled back, a change being considered by Congressional leaders and allowed through state waivers by the House-passed American Health Care Act as a potential way for lowering premiums.

New England Journal of Medicine: Undermining Genetic Privacy? Employee Wellness Programs and the Law

In this May 2017 post, Karen Pollitz and co-author Kathy L. Hudson discuss how H.R. 1313, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, could substantially change current legal protections for the collection and treatment of genetic information and other personal health information under workplace wellness programs. The post is now available from the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.