170,101 Sign Up for Health Insurance on the Exchange in Its 2nd Year

While the numbers slightly exceeded the 164,000 recorded at the close of first enrollment last year, they still fell short of expectations. Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which runs Healthplanfinder, had set a goal of 213,000, a number the exchange staff had said was needed for the exchange to be self-sustaining, as required under the law.

The State-Level Future of Healthcare Reform

While the national debate over the Affordable Care Act remains deadlocked in dispute, local-level reform trends towards bipartisan convergence. The likely result is a national consensus, at some point in the future, on a plan that both parties could have agreed upon a long time in the past.

Study Finds Health-Insurance Sign-Ups on State-Run Exchanges Lackluster

Washington was one of two states nationwide in which the number of people buying health insurance through government-run exchanges went down in the second round of open enrollment, which ended in February. The decline was a modest 2 percent — but the state’s goal had been to show a sizable increase.

Judge: Washington Must Fix Problem with Jailing Mentally Ill

A federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against the state of Washington for violating the constitutional rights of mentally ill people who wait long periods in jail for treatment, saying they can’t be held in custody for more than seven days without an evaluation.

Legislature Should Keep Simple Tool to Fight Medicaid Fraud

At issue is the state’s 2012 Medicaid False Claims Act, which included what’s known as a “qui tam” provision that allows the state Attorney General Office’s Medicaid fraud unit to share a portion of fraud recoveries with whistle-blowers. Whistle-blowers generally get about 8 percent.

What Is Behind The Post-Recession Bend In The Health Care Cost Curve?

This all suggests that the vast majority of the post-recession slowdown is attributable to lower economy-wide price inflation along with some temporary noncyclical factors. Of the surprisingly small amount left to be explained by the recession and structural changes, I would attribute the greatest share to the recession.

Small Business Employers Beware: Check Your Options Before Using the State Health Exchange

As of October 17, 2014 small businesses (50 or fewer employees) now have a broader choice of small group insurance plans through the Washington State Health Benefit Exchange. Regrettably the HBE has chosen to push its plans even where those plans may not be the best solution for a small business or its workforce. The fact that they are using public funds to market this approach has raised additional concerns.