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Nearly $230M Invested in National Health Service Corps in 2012

Nearly $230 million has been invested in the National Health Service Corps this year, according to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Included in these investments are 4,600 loan repayment and scholarships to clinicians and students, and grants awarded to 32 states to aid their state loan repayment programs.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the National Health Service Corps is providing loans and scholarships to more doctors, nurses, and other health care providers, so more people get the care they need,” said Secretary Sebelius. “National Health Service Corps clinicians are providing care to approximately 10.4 million patients across the country.”

Founded in 1970, the National Health Services Corps, administered by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration, has provided health care to communities across the country by supporting more than 42,000 primary health care practitioners over its 40-year history. It has nearly 10,000 providers.

For more on this announcement, click here.

New Site To Let Us Monitor Health Insurance Rate Hikes

From USA Today:

By Kelly Kennedy

WASHINGTON – Beginning Thursday, consumers across the country can click their state on a federal Web page to see if a health insurer has raised its rates, as well as the company’s reason for doing so.

That information was mostly unavailable before, said Steve Larsen, the Department of Health and Human Services deputy director for oversight. Only a few states include rate raises on their websites. Now, however, all insurance companies must file that information with HHS because of last year’s health care law.

The site’s address is http://companyprofiles.healthcare.gov/.

“We are taking a good, hard look at why insurance companies are seeking to raise your rates, why your premiums might be going up, and making sure these decisions are public and justified,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “This is just a start, and over time we will be reporting more of these requests.”

The announcement comes after a survey by Kaiser Family Foundation released last week that showed premiums for an employer-sponsored plan for a family of four rising 9% this year. Continue reading

Gov’t Lays Out Health Insurance Exchange Details

From Reuters:

By Alina Selyukh and Anna Yukhananov

WASHINGTON | Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:43pm EDT

(Reuters) – The government on Friday laid out incentives for states and people to participate in health insurance exchanges, including tax credits and funding grants for the states.

Health regulators also clarified how they expect states to determine who is eligible to join this program under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul.

The exchanges are envisioned as open marketplaces of competing insurance plans that allow uninsured people and small businesses to band together to negotiate cheaper rates.

In the guidelines, released on Friday, the U.S. Health and Human Services and Treasury departments said states need to provide a “one-stop shop” system that can tell people what insurance programs and tax credits they’re eligible for — including federal/state Medicaid insurance program for the poor.

States, insurance companies, employers and patient groups have been awaiting these details because they are critical to establishing exchanges expected to be functional by 2014. Continue reading

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