Consumer Assistance and Tools Needed to Ensure that All Eligible Marketplace Enrollees Get Cost-Sharing Reductions

Implementing the ACA

A recent study has found that as many as 2.2 million people are missing out on Affordable Care Act cost-sharing subsidies that could make their insurance coverage more affordable. Our Center for Children and Families colleague, Tricia Brooks, discusses some critical tools the state and federal marketplaces could put in place to make sure consumers are getting the financial help they’re eligible for. Continue reading

New Georgetown Report Calls for Harnessing of ‘Big Data’ for Better Health Plan Oversight and Consumer Protection

Implementing the ACA

Last week the Obama Administration took a small step forward to implement Affordable Care Act transparency rules. This week, CHIR researchers Sabrina Corlette, JoAnn Volk and Sandy Ahn released a new report outlining a new and powerful data collection and transparency framework that can help state and federal policymakers better understand how insurers are complying with new market rules and consumer protections. Continue reading

Feds Take a Baby Step Forward on ACA’s Sunshine Rules

Implementing the ACA

The Obama Administration has taken a step forward to implement long-delayed transparency provisions of the ACA, which require insurers and employer-based health plans to report a range of data to help policymakers and consumers better understand how insurance is working for people. CHIR expert Sabrina Corlette finds the latest action to be just a baby step, as well as a missed opportunity. Continue reading

How will Premium Rate Changes Affect Consumers’ Renewals into Marketplace Coverage? Lessons Learned from 2015’s Enrollment Season

Implementing the ACA

As states finalize premium rates for marketplace plans by August 25, we’ll know the extent of changes for 2016 coverage. How will premium changes affect consumers who may be automatically renewed into coverage? CHIR’s Sandy Ahn shares lessons learned from the first year of marketplace renewals and what can be done to improve consumers’ experiences as we head into the next open enrollment season. Continue reading

Getting Ready for OE3 – New Kaiser Family Foundation Survey Provides Helpful Lessons

Implementing the ACA

We’re just 12 weeks away from the start of the third open enrollment period (OE3) for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. The results from a recently released Kaiser Family Foundation survey of health insurance Navigators and brokers offer some helpful insights on ways to improve consumer outreach and enrollment going forward. CHIR’s Hannah Ellison and Sabrina Corlette share some highlights. Continue reading

New Report: The Experience of Six State-Based Marketplaces with First Year Renewals

Implementing the ACA

A new report from CHIR researchers Sandy Ahn, Jack Hoadley and Sabrina Corlette revisits six state-based marketplaces that took varying approaches to renewing enrollees into 2015 coverage. The report examines how their different approaches affected enrollment and the consumer experience, and shares lessons learned for the next round of marketplace renewals. Continue reading

Proposed Premium Rate Increases for 2016: The Jury Is Still Out

State of the States

There’s been some hand-wringing over large proposed premium increases for health plans in 2016. But it’s important to remember that rate requests vary – a lot – by insurer and location. And that these rates are only proposed. They’re subject to regulatory scrutiny, and many proposed hikes may be reduced. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sean Miskell and Dave Cusano discuss the drivers of 2016 premiums and states’ role in keeping coverage affordable. Continue reading

Church Plans and Health Care Sharing Ministries: Different Entities, Different Consumer Protections

Implementing the ACA

A provider association has recently heard from member physician offices about patients enrolled in “church plans” in which preventive services, such as child well visits and immunizations, aren’t covered. What are these church plans and why don’t they have to comply with the Affordable Care Act insurance reforms? CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette has some answers. Continue reading