Fix it, Don’t End it: Common Sense Prescriptions for Individual Market Stability

For the time being, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the “law of the land.” But increasing uncertainty about the policy future has left the individual insurance market at risk and could result in fewer choices and higher premiums, In the past, Congress has demonstrated that it can arrive at bipartisan solutions to tackle insurance market challenges and help consumers. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette outlines what a common sense ACA reform package could look like. Continue reading

House Proposal to Promote Association Health Plans Poses Risks for Insurance Markets, Consumers

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to promote federally certified association health plans (AHPs) on March 22, 2017. Widely seen as a “second phase” of Affordable Care Act repeal, the AHP proposal poses significant risks for small employers and would hinder states’ ability to protect their consumers. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette take a look at the bill and what it would mean for the small business health insurance market. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’ Proposed Market Stabilization Regulations: Part 2 – Consumer Advocates

Last month, the Department of Health & Human Services released proposed rules aimed at stabilizing the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces. After a 20-day comment period, they received close to 4,000 public comments. In the second post in our series on the reactions of health care stakeholders, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab looks at comments from consumer advocacy groups. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’ Proposed Market Stabilization Regulations: Part 1 – Insurers

In February, the Department of Health & Human Services released proposed rules affecting the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces. In response, they received close to 4,000 public comments. In the first of a series of three posts examining reactions among health care stakeholders, CHIR’s Emily Curran assesses the reaction of insurance companies. Continue reading

Maryland CO-OP Health Plan Becomes a For-Profit Company

Just hours before President Trump took the oath of office, the Maryland health insurance CO-OP Evergreen Health officially closed a deal with the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) to sever its ties with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) CO-OP program. The company will now transition from a nonprofit to a for-profit company, allowing it to gain an infusion of financing from outside investors. Executives credited the deal with enabling Evergreen to survive and stay competitive. However, it also provides insight into the immense challenges involved in starting up a new insurance company in the current market, even with federal financing. Continue reading

Reading the Fine Print: Do ACA Replacement Proposals Give States More Flexibility and Authority?

State leaders have been heartened by statements from the new President and Congressional leaders that ACA replacement plans will give them more autonomy over their health insurance markets. But is that really true? In a post for the Health Affairs blog, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia examine the fine print of House and Senate replacement plans and find that they broadly preempt state authority. Continue reading