Increasing Deductibles in Employer Coverage: A Story Over a Decade in the Making

Implementing the ACA

A graph has been making the rounds on the internet comparing cumulative increases in deductibles since 2011 to growth in inflation, worker earnings and health insurance premiums since it was posted as part of a Wall Street Journal blog. But the graph only tells part of the story – the part that occurred after 2011. The story of increasing deductibles in employer based health insurance is a story that is over a decade in the making.

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Quality Over Quantity? New Medicaid Network Adequacy Rules Illuminate Disparities Among Insurance Program Standards

Implementing the ACA

Narrow network plans, or plans with a limited network of providers, present problems for consumers across the various coverage programs. In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the final rule setting network adequacy standards for Medicaid and CHIP managed care plans. The new rule requires states to set quantitative standards for network adequacy; but since these standards don’t apply uniformly to other federal programs, network adequacy – and access to essential health services – varies greatly for consumers based on what program they fall under. Continue reading

Future of Children’s Health Coverage Series Brief #2: Rethinking Pediatric Dental Coverage

Implementing the ACA

Inadequate coverage of children’s dental health can lead to serious health problems and long-term consequences by impairing children’s ability to eat, sleep and perform well in school. In their latest in a series of issue briefs on the future of children’s health coverage, Georgetown’s Center for Children & Families examines the state of children’s dental health coverage and provides recommendations to policymakers to help ensure kids get the care they need. Continue reading

A “Volatile Marketplace”: Second Quarter Earnings Calls Offer Glimpse of How Insurers Are Faring on ACA Marketplaces—and What 2017 Might Bring

State of the States

In a turbulent year for the Affordable Care Act, health insurers’ second-quarter earnings calls and financial filings can offer a glimpse of how they are faring on the ACA marketplaces and strategies for 2017. In their latest publication for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia and Emily Curran share key takeaways from these key insurance industry financial reports. Continue reading

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