Payer Roundup—Higher AHP enrollment will hike ACA premiums; Hatch calls Obamacare supporters dumb; Horizon will share tax windfall

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Increased enrollment in association health plans could raise ACA premiums, according to a new report. (Getty/NicoElNino)

Avalere Health: Increasing enrollment in association health plans would boost ACA premiums 

The Trump administration has proposed expanding access to association health plans, a move that Avalere Health says will lead to 3.2 million people leaving the Affordable Care Act's individual and small group markets to enroll in association plans by 2022. 

The increase in AHP enrollment would increase ACA premiums in the individual market by 3.5% and those in the small group market by 0.5%, according to the consulting firm. The group also projects that the rule would lead to an additional 130,000 uninsured. Release

Hatch takes swipe at ACA's backers in speech 

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said that people who support the ACA are the "stupidest, dumbass people I've ever met" during a speech at the American Enterprise Insitute. Hatch lauded the GOP's repeal of the individual mandate, which was included in the tax plan passed in December.

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A spokesman for Hatch, who is the longest serving member of the Senate and who will retire when his term ends in January, said the comments were meant in jest, adding "what's not a joke is the harm Obamacare has caused for countless Utahns." The Hill article

Tufts Health Plan, Hartford HealthCare team up for collaborative health plan 

Tufts Health Plan and Hartford HealthCare will join forces to launch a payer-provider collaborative health plan, the first of its kind in Connecticut. 

The joint venture, CarePartners of Connecticut, will offer Medicare Advantage plans and intends to harness the power of both of its partners to promote care coordination and quality improvement. 

Meanwhile, Tufts revealed that some of its members' ID numbers were accidentally revealed. Cards mailed between Dec. 11 and Jan. 2 displayed the numbers alongside the members' names and addresses in the envelopes' address windows. The vendor responsible has fixed the error, and Tufts said there is a very low risk that showing the ID numbers could compromise data security. Release | Disclosure (PDF)

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield says it will share tax refunds with customers 

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the largest insurer in New Jersey, expects to earn $550 million in federal tax refunds over the next five years, and it says it will pass some of those savings on to its members. 

Horizon will share $150 million of the savings in cooperation with the state's Department of Banking and Insurance and will spend $125 million on a project to integrate behavioral health and primary care. The Philadelphia Inquirer article

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