The Latest on Special Enrollment Periods: An Assessment of State Approaches in 2014 and Update for 2015

State of the States

Special enrollment is available to individuals who experience qualifying events and allow them to enroll into marketplace coverage. A new issue brief co-authored by CHIR’s Sandy Ahn and Kevin Lucia, along with authors from the Urban Institute, found that special enrollment systems and procedures were still a work in progress in five state-based marketplaces last year. Sandy and Kevin also discuss additional SEPs available this year. Continue reading

After a Slow Start, Federal Small Business Health Insurance Marketplace Offers New and Improved Functions

Implementing the ACA

With intense focus on enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, enrollment through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) has flown under the radar by comparison. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia, Justin Giovannelli and Sean Miskell discuss early challenges for the SHOP as well as recent improvements. Continue reading

Our Heartfelt Thanks to Affordable Care Act Navigators and Assisters – and a New Resource

Implementing the ACA

We’ve wrapped up the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment season and sign-ups exceeded expectations, in large part thanks to the hard work of navigators and assisters. As part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project, navigators in five states send us their toughest and most complicated cases. To help others facing similar issues, we’ve created a new compilation of our most frequently asked questions during open enrollment. The Georgetown technical assistance team shares it here. Continue reading

Getting MAGI Right: Current Monthly Income Vs. Projected Annual Income

Implementing the ACA

Under the Affordable Care Act, new rules for counting household size and income for purposes of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility were aligned with the calculation of Marketplace subsidies. Following up on a primer she drafted on the basics of MAGI, our colleague at Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families, Tricia Brooks, drills down on income eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP, and premium tax credits. Continue reading

Some Insurers Cancel Noncompliant Health Plans, But Consumers Are More Informed of Coverage Options

State of the States

The media furor over health plan cancellations in the wake of the Affordable Care Act has died down, in part because federal and state rules now allow insurers to maintain their noncompliant policies until 2017. However, some insurers are choosing to discontinue them. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia, Sabrina Corlette, and Ashley Williams examine the policy and business incentives driving health plan cancellations. Continue reading

Coverage that Falls Outside Affordable Care Act Protections: A Primer on “Excepted Benefits” and Short Term Health Insurance

Implementing the ACA

As consumers shop for health insurance, many may be offered coverage, such as “excepted benefit” plans or short-term, limited duration policies that fall outside of the protections required in the Affordable Care Act. CHIR’s Kayla Connor shares a primer on these policies, published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health Reform Assistance Network. Continue reading

The Hidden Enrollment Weapon? What First-Year Experiences of Health Insurance Brokers Tell Us about Barriers and Opportunities for Their Engagement with the Marketplaces

Implementing the ACA

Health insurance agents and brokers drove a significant portion of enrollment into the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces in the first year, and continue to play an important role this year. In an issue brief released this week by Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms and the Urban Institute, researchers document some of the early barriers to more robust broker engagement with the marketplaces, as well as opportunities for more effective partnerships in the future. Sabrina Corlette has this overview. Continue reading