Shopping Tips for 2018 Open Enrollment

What’s a marketplace consumer to think in this crazy-mixed up year for the Affordable Care Act? Federal policy uncertainty has led to some downright weird and counterintuitive premiums for marketplace plans. And smart shoppers can find some incredible deals. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn shares her shopping tips for this year’s open enrollment season. Continue reading

Insurers, State Regulators Avoid Bare Counties in 2018, but Seek Long-Term Solutions

As we near the end of the second week of a so-far successful Open Enrollment, uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act remains a challenge. As insurers and state regulators prepared for the 2018 plan year, they addressed questions of whether Congress or the Trump Administration would make major changes to the law. This led to a situation in several states where some or all counties seemed likely to have no insurance plan available for residents seeking marketplace coverage. In a new issue brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CHIR experts examine the actions of six states that faced the prospect of bare counties for 2018. Continue reading

State Options Blog Series: Streamlined, Direct Marketplace Enrollment Has Risks, Benefits, but Much Depends on State Oversight

In the fourth of a multi-part blog series on state options in the wake of federal actions to roll back or relax Affordable Care Act regulation, JoAnn Volk reviews recent changes to an enrollment pathway that may prove helpful in boosting enrollment, but also comes with potential risks for consumers. She discusses what state insurance regulators can do to ensure consumers are protected from pitfalls. Continue reading

State-Based Marketplaces Push Ahead, Despite Federal Resistance

Open enrollment for 2018 started last week on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. Along with its executive actions designed to weaken marketplaces operations, the Trump administration has taken a number of steps over the past year to curb marketplace enrollment. While the administration has scaled back efforts to provide health coverage, state-based marketplaces have taken a different approach. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR’s Emily Curran and Justin Giovannelli share their findings from interviews with executives at 15 of the 17 states that operate their own marketplaces. Continue reading

Proposed 2019 Affordable Care Act Payment Rule: A Big Role for States

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services published an annual set of proposed rules for the Affordable Care Act marketplaces on October 27. Called the “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters,” the rules set out expectations for insurers and the states that regulate them. In her latest post for CHIR, Katie Keith highlights key areas in which this administration would give states new autonomy and authority. Continue reading

States Step Up to Protect Consumers in Wake of Cuts to ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

In the wake of President Trump’s decision to cut off payments for a key ACA subsidy for low-income enrollees, the impact felt by consumers and insurers will vary from state to state, depending on the actions of insurance regulators and insurance companies. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia, and Maanasa Kona share findings from their 50-state review of insurers’ responses to the loss of cost-sharing reduction payments for 2018. Continue reading

Got Questions on Private Health Insurance? Get the New and Improved Navigator Resource Guide

Marketplace enrollment is upon us. November 1 marks the start to the fifth open enrollment season. To help marketplace Navigators and others assisting consumers with marketplace eligibility and enrollment, we at CHIR have updated and improved our Navigator Resource Guide. The Guide houses over 300 frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about all things marketplace coverage-related, as well as information about employer-sponsored coverage. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn highlights some of the changes. Continue reading