Sebelius Will Be a Tough Act to Follow

Implementing the ACA

Secretary Sebelius will soon be stepping down as head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She led the agency through an extraordinary time of health system transformation. One person who knew she would be up to the job – and who knows she’s a tough act to follow – is her former insurance commissioner colleague, Sally McCarty. In this post, Sally looks back at her two decades of working with Sebelius and celebrates the tenure of a remarkable Secretary. Continue reading

Recommendations to Strengthen Navigator and Assister Programs

Implementing the ACA

With the close of open enrollment in the new health insurance Marketplaces, it is a good time not only to applaud the work of the navigators and consumer assisters who helped people gain access to new coverage, but also to reflect on lessons learned and assess what can be done to improve consumer assistance for 2015. Our colleague at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, Tricia Brooks, does just that in her latest post. Continue reading

More New Resources Available to State Regulators

Implementing the ACA

A set of new tools for state insurance regulators, as well as updated versions of some older resources, have recently been posted on the Robert Wood Johnson State Health Reform Assistance Network (State Network) web site. CHIR faculty Sally McCarty, David Cusano, and Max Farris, who serve as technical assistance professionals (TAPS) in the State Network Program, developed the new resources. Sally McCarty describes them here and provides information about an upcoming Webinar to introduce them and demonstrate their use. Continue reading

A Limited Extension for Insurance Enrollment: Precedents from Part D

Implementing the ACA

Recently, the Obama administration extended the enrollment period for people who’ve faced roadblocks in their attempts to sign up for a health plan by March 31. Some observers have compared this action to the flexibility exercised by the Bush administration in the roll out of Medicare Part D. Others say it was quite different. Our Georgetown Health Policy Institute colleague and Medicare expert Jack Hoadley cuts through the rhetoric and points us to the precedents to pay attention to. Continue reading