There Are New Federal “Public Charge” Rules Going Into Effect Next Week: Here’s What You Need to Know

Beginning February 24, 2020, new rules that expand the criteria for determining whether certain immigrants would be considered a “public charge” are going into effect. While appeals of these new expanded rules make their way through the courts, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the policy may take effect in all states except Illinois, where a separate injunction remains statewide. As the changing rules can be confusing for consumers and assisters, we’ve updated our Navigator Resource Guide to help break it down. Continue reading

A Mixed Bag for States: The Proposed 2021 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

The Trump administration’s proposed rule governing the Affordable Care Act insurance markets for 2021 has been published, and comments are due from the public by March 2, 2020. In her latest article for the State Health & Value Strategies program, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette provides a detailed overview of changes proposed in the rule, with a focus on the implications for state departments of insurance and the health insurance marketplaces. Continue reading

Payer-Provider Contract Disputes Dominate Headlines in 2019, With No Signs of Slowing Down

For several years, we at CHIR have tracked health insurance industry trends by monitoring trade and mass media, Wall Street analyses, earnings, and other reports. In 2019, we observed an increase in reporting on contract disputes between health insurers and providers. These discussions are becoming more contentious as insurers face mounting pressure to rein in health care costs while ensuring consumers’ access to providers. CHIR’s Emily Curran digs into what’s behind the trend and what it means for patients. Continue reading

The Texas Two-Step: Implementation of State Balance Billing Law Reveals Gaps in Consumer Protections

In Congress and state legislatures across the country, policymakers are debating fixes to surprise medical bills. The federal government has yet to enact comprehensive reforms, but a number of states have taken steps to protect consumers. One such state is Texas, which last year enacted a new law holding consumers harmless in situations that commonly lead to surprise medical bills. However, the state’s new protections were almost gutted due to an implementation loophole, a cautionary tale for federal and state policymakers. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at what happened in Texas. Continue reading

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