New Online Resource Provides Answers to Common Health Insurance and Marketplace Questions

Implementing the ACA

This week, CHIR is releasing an online version of the Navigator Resource Guide, with close to 300 searchable FAQs and easy-to-read background information on key health insurance and marketplace issues. Although designed with the needs of Navigators in mind, the Guide is a hands-on, practical resource for anyone who needs to communicate with consumers about the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading

New “Halbig Provision” in Health Plan Agreements Poses Little Threat to Consumers

Implementing the ACA

Insurers that sell coverage through the ACA’s federally facilitated marketplaces must sign a privacy and security agreement with the federal government. New language gives insurers greater flexibility to end that agreement if premium tax credits cease to be available to marketplace enrollees. Justin Giovannelli explores the significance of this development for consumers. Continue reading

The Affordable Care Act and the End of Job Lock: Some Early Positive Signs

Implementing the ACA

A little over a year ago, researchers at CHIR and the Urban Institute predicted a 1.5 million increase in the number of self-employed entrepreneurs, as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It’s too early to know whether this prediction will bear out, but Sabrina Corlette highlights some early anecdotal signs that the law is in fact ending the phenomenon of “job lock.” Continue reading

Strengthening the Summary of Benefits and Coverage as a Consumer Tool

Implementing the ACA

The Affordable Care Act requires all insurers to provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) so that consumers have a tool to help them understand what is covered under their health plan. Unfortunately, minimal oversight of this requirement has led this tool to be less useful than it could be, at a time many consumers struggle with basic health insurance literacy. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn highlights the efforts of one state – Utah – to strengthen the SBC and make it more meaningful for consumers. Continue reading

Georgetown Navigator Technical Assistance Project: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Future Enrollment

Implementing the ACA

Georgetown University experts from the Center on Health Insurance Reforms and the Center for Children and Families released this week a report documenting the experiences over the past year working with Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, and others working to enroll consumers in the health insurance marketplaces. JoAnn Volk, Sandy Ahn, Sabrina Corlette and Tricia Brooks share lessons learned and recommendations for future enrollments in a comprehensive report and two video clips. Continue reading

Major Policy Changes Take a Backseat to IT During a Transitional Year for Health Insurance Marketplaces

State of the States

As the health insurance marketplaces prepare for the second year of operation under the Affordable Care Act, IT issues are driving many states’ decisions on whether to operate a state-based marketplace. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sarah Dash and Kevin Lucia share findings on state IT transitions and major policy actions going into 2015. Continue reading

Employer Coverage Remains Steady, But Long Term Trends Highlight Need To Strengthen All Forms Of Coverage

Implementing the ACA

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that employer coverage is remaining steady, and premiums have increased only modestly. But long term trends suggest an erosion in employer-sponsored health benefits. CHIR’s Sean Miskell takes the pulse of employment-based insurance and emphasizes the need to strengthen all pillars of coverage. Continue reading

Advocates File Civil Rights Complaint with HHS on Coverage Termination Day

Implementing the ACA

Last week, on the day that 115,000 people who bought coverage in the federal marketplace lost that coverage, the National Immigration Law Center filed complaints with HHS’s Office for Civil Rights alleging that the federally facilitated marketplace violated civil rights law and the Affordable Care Act’s anti-discrimination provisions. Our colleague at Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families, Sonya Schwartz, analyzes the concerns that underlie these filings. Continue reading