Trending News Today: Association Health Plans Possible Under Proposed Rule

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Yesterday, the Department of Labor proposed novel rules that may help small businesses purchase health insurance as a group, according to Kaiser Health News. Supporters of the proposal say that the new rules will result in less costly plan options for consumers in 2019. On the other hand, opponents are concerned about the level of protection that will be offered by these association plans, according to the article.

The Trump administration plans to release a proposal that will require Medicaid recipients to be employed, representing a drastic shift from the current structure of the program, The Hill reported. Under the previous administration, state applications that included work requirements were rejected, but the new guidelines would give states the option to implement this provision. This proposal is in line with the position of Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who supports making conservative changes to Medicaid, according to the article.

After many years of escalating drug costs, CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance said that costly prescription drugs may become more affordable, according to The Wall Street Journal. The large drug store companies reported that their pharmacy revenue has taken a hit from a boom in generic drugs and slow inflation for certain branded products, the Journal reported. Notably, CVS and Walgreens said that new generics for costly specialty drugs have been providing relief from high prescription drug spending.