Senate measure lays groundwork for ACA rollback | Obama, Pence hold meetings with caucuses to map ACA strategies | Future uncertain for Medicare Advantage plans
January 5, 2017
NADP SmartBrief
News affecting dental benefits
Industry News
Senate measure lays groundwork for ACA rollback
Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced a resolution Tuesday asking relevant House and Senate committees to develop budget reconciliation recommendations by Jan. 27 and creating a "reserve fund" that would set aside savings from a possible Affordable Care Act repeal to fund future health care legislation and reduce the budget deficit. The move sets the stage for rollback of the Affordable Care Act through the budget reconciliation process.
Health Affairs Blog (1/3),  Reuters (1/3),  CNN (1/4) 
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Lack of dental insurance undermines gains from medical coverage
Gayathri Subramanian, an assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, describes how a patient's lack of dental insurance and poor oral health led to his decline after receiving treatment for oral cancer. "When oral health is treated as if it were unrelated to overall health -- as is the case in this country, where there is 'medical' insurance and then there is 'dental' insurance -- the consequences can be dire," Subramanian writes.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/31) 
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Obama, Pence hold meetings with caucuses to map ACA strategies
President Barack Obama met with congressional Democrats to discuss preserving the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with congressional Republicans to discuss repealing and replacing the law.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/4) 
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Future uncertain for Medicare Advantage plans
Medicare Advantage plans are popular with the 17.6 million Medicare beneficiaries currently covered, and a strong, stable product line for insurers who value the stability of enrollment. House Speaker Paul Ryan's proposal to lower payments to MA plans through a premium support option could result in higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses making the plans less attractive to seniors, according to Gretchen Jacobson, an associate director at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Managed Care magazine (12/2016) 
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Oral Health
Scuba diving may make dental problems worse
Forty-one percent of scuba divers responding to a survey said they had experienced dental problems related to diving, such as pain, loosened crowns and cracked fillings. Divers who have an underlying dental condition may experience barodontalgia, or toothache caused by high or low pressure, and dive instructors reported more pain and dental problems than recreational divers, according to the survey results published in the British Dental Journal. (1/3) 
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Hawaii dentists, educators team up on oral health initiative
The Hawaii Department of Education and the Hawaii Dental Association are launching an oral health education program in schools. Dentists will teach first- and second-graders proper dental hygiene techniques and share information about free dental care.
The Garden Island (Lihue, Hawaii) (12/30) 
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Company News
Aetna, Humana await judge's ruling on merger
Final arguments from Aetna, Humana and the Justice Department were presented to US District Judge John Bates last week in a case challenging Aetna's proposed $37 billion acquisition of Humana, and Bates said he would rule in a "timely manner." The Justice Department says the deal would reduce competition in the Medicare Advantage market.
Bloomberg (12/30) 
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Save the date for CONVERGE 2017
Mark your calendars now for CONVERGE 2017, Sept. 25-28 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. CONVERGE is the best professional development opportunity the dental benefits industry has to offer. It features dynamic educational sessions, energetic networking opportunities plus informative exhibits in the Discovery Zone. At CONVERGE, you will become inspired as you share your insights and challenges with fellow colleagues and polish your skills as you learn from thought leaders and industry experts. For more information, visit
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Advance your career with NADP webinar recordings
Polish your skills and increase your industry knowledge with NADP webinars recordings available 24/7 via the NADP Knowledge Center. Webinar categories include customer service, health care reform, management, product development, professional relations, sales and marketing plus social media. Invest an hour to learn from industry leaders. Recordings sell for $100 for NADP members and $195 for non-members. Visit the Webinar Recording section of the Knowledge Center for more information.
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When I had challenges, it taught me to be more on top of it for the future. Things go wrong all the time when you're running your own business, but it's how you perceive it and deal with it that matters.
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