CHIR Launches New Resource Center for Policymakers on Surprise Medical Bills

CHIR experts have launched a new project to provide policymakers with a dedicated, independent resource for unbiased and comprehensive information on the issue of surprise medical bills. Leveraging our experience advising state insurance regulators and monitoring surprise medical bill legislation in all 50 states and before Congress, our goal is to help policymakers protect consumers, promote affordability, and adopt comprehensive surprise medical bill protections. Continue reading

Swimming against the Tide: Policies in State-Based Marketplace States Help Counter Negative Trends in Uninsurance Rates

The latest U.S. Census data show the uninsured rate for nonelderly adults is rising,  including among middle- and higher-income people who do not qualify for Affordable Care Act premium subsidies. Such an increase is partly attributable to policies implemented by the Trump administration to undermine the ACA. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe explains that when it comes to individual market enrollment, however, national numbers mask significant differences in state-to-state performance. Continue reading

States Leaning In: Colorado

This year several states have taken an increasingly active role in expanding health insurance coverage, overseeing their insurance markets, and protecting consumers. Perhaps no state did more in 2019 than Colorado, which enacted a dizzying array of health insurance bills. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look in this installment of States Leaning In. Continue reading

Aliera Healthcare Prompts Increased State Activity on Health Care Sharing Ministries

Over the last few months, state officials have increasingly acted to warn consumers about the potential risks of enrolling in health care sharing ministries (HCSMs). These efforts have ranged from educating consumers on HCSMs to initiating legal action against fraudulent practices. While some consumers may find value in HCSMs, recent actions by Aliera Healthcare provide one example of how entities may use HCSMs’ unregulated status to skirt oversight and take advantage of consumers. Continue reading

DOJ’s Proposed Remedy in Texas v. United States Is an Unrealistic Solution

In supplemental briefings to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Department of Justice recently proposed that the Affordable Care Act be struck down in the eighteen plaintiff states bringing suit in Texas v. United States, but upheld in all other states. CHIR’s Emily Curran, Dania Palanker, and Sabrina Corlette explain why this “solution” would upend our system of employer-based coverage and is illogical given the ACA’s national reforms. Continue reading

Will it Fly? Wyoming Attempts End Run Around High Air Ambulance Prices

Air ambulance charges are a significant source of surprise out-of-network bills for many patients, with charges running into 5 figures. States have been frustrated in their efforts to protect consumers in this context due to a federal law preempting regulation of air carrier prices, including air ambulances. However, the state of Wyoming may have hit on a unique solution – effectively making air ambulance a public utility. Will it work? CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette takes a look. Continue reading

New Addition to Advocate Toolkit Highlights Options for Protecting Consumers Amidst Expansion of Short-Term Plans

In July, a federal district court judge upheld the Trump administration’s rule expanding availability of short-term, limited duration insurance, or short-term plans, which do not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. With the help of CHIR experts, Community Catalyst has published another resource for state advocates and policymakers, providing an overview of short-term plans, insight on unscrupulous sales practices that leave consumers at risk, and state regulatory options. Continue reading