New Report Recommends Policies to Promote Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs

Implementing the ACA

Access to prescription drugs is critically important to millions of individuals and families nationwide, but too often cost places them out of reach. At the NAIC’s summer national meeting, the consumer representatives to the NAIC released a report on state and federal regulatory options for promoting access to prescription drugs. JoAnn Volk shares highlights here. Continue reading

As Administration Reviews Comments on Short-Term Insurance Plans, Analysis Finds Gaps in Coverage

Implementing the ACA

The Obama Administration is reviewing feedback on its proposed rule to clamp down on the sale of short-term health plans. If finalized, the rule could help stabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces – and help protect consumers from being duped into buying plans that don’t meet their health needs. CHIR’s Dania Palanker shares what she found in a review of what short-term plans actually cover, as well as the mix of industry responses to the Administration’s proposed regulation. Continue reading

Stabilizing the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces: Lessons from Medicare

Implementing the ACA

In the late 1990s, Medicare officials faced decisions by insurers to cancel nearly half of their Medicare Advantage contracts. In a new issue brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Georgetown experts Jack Hoadley and Sabrina Corlette assess the policies and strategies adopted to manage instability in the Medicare Advantage and Part D markets and whether they can be used to stabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Key takeaways from that issue brief are shared here. Continue reading

Wisconsin’s Objection to Automatic Re-enrollment of Enrollees in Federally Facilitated Marketplaces

Implementing the ACA

The administration recently issued a proposal to smooth renewals for consumers affected by insurance company exits from the health insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Wisconsin, which has been slow to warm to the ACA, is objecting on grounds that it violates principles of “consumer choice.” CHIR’s Sandy Ahn breaks down Wisconsin’s objection and contends the administration’s proposal not only protects consumer choice, but ensures continuous health insurance coverage for consumers. Continue reading

State-Run SHOPs: An Update Three Years Post ACA Implementation

State of the States

Small-business owners face unique challenges covering their employees; to lower barriers and increase options, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). In a new blog published by The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Emily Curran, Sabrina Corlette, and Kevin Lucia evaluate the current state of these marketplaces three years into implementation. Continue reading

New Health Affairs Policy Brief Examines the Regulation of Health Plan Provider Networks

State of the States

Limited networks have become increasingly common on ACA marketplaces, comprising almost half of all offerings during the first two years of the exchanges. In a new policy brief for Health Affairs, CHIR experts Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette examine what the states and the federal government are doing to ensure that marketplace plan networks are adequate and transparent. Continue reading