The joint federal-state Medicaid program would be expanded to cover individuals up to 133% of the federal poverty level. While legislation expected to emerge from the Senate Finance Committee would not require employers to offer insurance, it would however fine companies on a per-worker basis if their workers buy coverage in an open market “exchange.”
The framework comes just one day before President Barack Obama is expected to detail to members of Congress what he wants to see in a healthcare reform package.
The legislative blueprint also puts a premium on quality reporting for providers that operate under Medicare and Medicaid, establishing a value-based purchasing program for hospitals in 2011 and touching just about every other provider group that gets paid by the federal government.
The bill would also include incentive payments to help bolster the healthcare workforce. The proposal also holds a number of wholesale changes for the insurance industries. Insurers either in the group or individual market would be required to cover everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
Additionally, state-based exchanges would be established and several levels of health insurance coverage would be offered. Another option would create a “young invincible” policy, targeting young adults who desire a less expensive catastrophic coverage plan but with a requirement that preventive services be covered below certain amounts.
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