So, You’ve Got Health Insurance. What Now? Frequently Asked Questions on Post-Enrollment Issues

Open Enrollment ended in most states on December 15, 2019. In the remaining states, Open Enrollment ends this month. For the majority of Americans who enrolled in health insurance before the December 15 deadline and paid their first premium, insurance should now be kicking in. We’ve collected a series of frequently asked questions from our Navigator Resource Guide on post-enrollment issues to help consumers navigate their first few months of having a new insurance plan. Continue reading

Department of Transportation Hosts the Inaugural Meeting of Committee to Advise on Air Ambulance Billing Issues

On January 15th and 16th, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation held the inaugural Air Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee meeting. Established by the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, the Committee is tasked with reviewing “options to improve the disclosure of charges and fees for air medical services, better inform consumers of insurance options for such services, and protect consumers from balance billing.” CHIR’s Maanasa Kona discusses some of the key takeaways from the meeting. Continue reading

Parity in Practice? Examining Requirements and Enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Last fall, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance documented that the UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company had committed several violations of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). Other states are also increasing their oversight efforts. However, over ten years after the law was enacted, federal and state insurance regulators are still working to insure consumers have the protections promised under the law. CHIR’s Madeline O’Brien explains what MHPAEA is, how it is enforced, and recent CHIR efforts to support effective oversight. Continue reading

New Resource for Consumer Advocates on Out-of-Network Payment Disputes in Balance Billing Legislation

State lawmakers across the country are are gearing up for a new legislative session. Many will be considering state-level protections for consumers to prevent surprise out-of-network medical bills. Just as with the federal legislation, however, one of the key sticking points for state policymakers will be how to approach out-of-network provider reimbursement. To aid stakeholders in these efforts, Community Catalyst teamed up with CHIR experts to create a guide for its health insurance reform toolkit: The Advocate’s Guide to Addressing Out-Of-Network Payment in Surprise Balance Billing Legislation. Continue reading

5th Circuit Decision in Texas v. U.S. Prolongs Uncertainty for Health Care Consumers, Markets

Perhaps knowing their decision would sow consumer confusion and market uncertainty, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals delayed its decision in the Texas v. U.S. litigation until after the close of open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance coverage. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette delves into the consequences of the long-awaited December 18, 2019 decision. Continue reading

Updates from the MEWA Files: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Federal Enforcement Efforts

Last week, CHIR alumna Christine Monahan walked through common types of misconduct documented in the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) investigative reports and case files relating to multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs), including association health plans (AHPs). In this third post in our series, she shares what these records show about DOL’s enforcement efforts and the harms that can result from lax MEWA regulations. Continue reading