As Self-Funding Increases in Popularity, Two States Step up to Address Potential Stop-Loss Policy Concerns

In the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance market reforms, policy experts have raised concerns that there could be greater incentives for small businesses to self-fund their health plans. Self-funding can be attractive for some small groups, but also can pose significant risks. In the wake of a white paper from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, two states have stepped up to address concerns. Ashley Williams has the latest. Continue reading

Affordable Care Act Reforms Not Fully Realized for Small Businesses: New Study Documents a Market in Transition

A new report published by the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation uncovers trends in the market for small business health insurance that could have long-term implications for small employers who offer health coverage to recruit and retain employees and promote a healthy workforce. The authors, Georgetown CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Jack Hoadley, Dania Palanker and Kevin Lucia summarize some of their findings here. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’ Proposed Market Stabilization Regulations: Part 2 – Consumer Advocates

Last month, the Department of Health & Human Services released proposed rules aimed at stabilizing the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces. After a 20-day comment period, they received close to 4,000 public comments. In the second post in our series on the reactions of health care stakeholders, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab looks at comments from consumer advocacy groups. Continue reading

Affordable Care Act Legislation Affecting Small Employers Sparks Rare Bipartisanship

Yesterday, the Health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee had a hearing on H.R. 1624, a bill that if enacted, would repeal an ACA provision changing the definition of small employer to 1-100 employees. The bill would also allow states to determine the definition of the small group market; all states currently define the small group market as employers with 1-50 employees. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn shares highlights of the hearing and the debate over the impact on small businesses. Continue reading

CHIR Expert Sabrina Corlette Testifies before U.S. Senate Roundtable on Small Business Health Care

On July 7 the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee held a roundtable discussion about challenges and opportunities facing the small business health insurance market. CHIR Senior Research Fellow Sabrina Corlette was invited to join the conversation about the SHOP marketplaces, self-funded plans, the change in the definition of the small group market, and more. Continue reading

New Rules Protect Navigators and Certified Application Counselors from Over-Reaching State Laws but Also Impose New Requirements

The Obama Administration has released final rules curtailing state laws that overly restrict the ability of navigators and certified application counselors to effectively enroll people into new coverage options through the health insurance marketplaces. Our Georgetown University Center for Children and Families colleague, Tricia Brooks, provides the overview of the rule and what it means for consumer assisters. Continue reading