Payer Roundup—BCBS official warns of 'substantial' premium hikes; MA plans lead the pack on value

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A vice president at BlueCross BlueShield says exchange plans are likely to see premium increases in "the low teens" next year. (Getty/vinnstock)

Trump immigration policy could hurt children's health insurance

A planned Trump administration change to immigration policy could end up hurting children's health, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The White House is currently considering a plan that would result in denying permanent resident status for those that use Medicaid, an exchange plan, or several other government benefits. 

Kaiser found that, under the policy, between 875,000 to 2 million citizen children could be dropped from Medicaid or CHIP coverage despite remaining eligible. (Brief)

BCBS warns of "substantial" exchanges premium increases for 2019

One of the largest health insurers is expecting a sizable premium increase for Affordable Care Act exchange plans for next year.

Kris Haltmeyer, a vice president at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, told reporters that premium hikes will average in "the low teens" due to Congressional Republicans repeal of the individual mandate, The Hill reported.

Some proposed premium increases have already been submitted, with hikes ranging as high as 64% for some plans, with those insurers also pointing the finger at policy changes pushed by Republicans. (The Hill)

MA plans leading tradition to value-based payments: report

New research finds that Medicare Advantage plans are driving the industry towards value-based care, leaving other payers in the dust.

A report published this week by the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy found that 40% of payments made under Medicare Advantage were through an alternative payment model, compared to about 30% under traditional Medicare and less than 20% under Medicaid.

“Medicare Advantage is already a major hub for developing new payment models,” Robert Saunders, Ph.D., of the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, said in a statement. “However, maximizing Medicare Advantage’s potential to lead the volume-to-value transition will require the plans to provide better information on how their reforms are working. CMS can contribute by releasing more data and finding ways to reduce provider burden, while continuing to provide the flexibility that is the hallmark of the program.” (Report [PDF])