States Lean In as the Federal Government Cuts Back: Navigator and Advertising Funding for the ACA’s Sixth Open Enrollment

With open enrollment into the Affordable Care Act marketplaces beginning November 1st, there will be considerable divergence among states in the amount of information and personalized assistance consumers receive about coverage options. While the federally run marketplace has dramatically cut back its investments in both advertising and the Navigator program, the state-based marketplaces are making big investments in those activities. In their latest To The Point blog for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Rachel Schwab discuss the findings from a new survey of state-based marketplaces. Continue reading

Direct Primary Care Arrangements Raise Questions for State Insurance Regulators

Over the past year, new health coverage products that are not subject to the consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act have hit the individual market. One type of limited health-insurance-like offering that was already available but is now gaining attention is a direct primary care arrangement. For Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, experts at CHIR took a closer look at state law to understand how states regulate these entities and highlight some of the concerns that state insurance regulators might want to consider going forward. Continue reading

What’s New for 2019 Marketplace Enrollment? Get Ready for Updated, Improved Navigator Resource Guide

On November 1, the sixth open enrollment period begins for marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We at CHIR will soon re-launch our updated Navigator Resource Guide, which provides information on recent policy changes, a list of enrollment tools for consumers and assisters, and answers to hundreds of frequently asked questions. To learn what’s new for 2019, read our CHIRBlog summarizing the major policy changes consumers might encounter this year. Continue reading

New Report Shows Role of Medicaid Expansion in Rural Area, Small Town Health Coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, 33 states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid, greatly increasing coverage under the public program. In a new report, our sister center,
the Center for Children and Families, examines the impact of Medicaid expansion on health coverage in rural areas and small towns, communities that for many years have faced high premiums and limited choices on the private insurance market. Continue reading

Lawsuit Threatens Affordable Care Act Preexisting Condition Protections But Impact Will Depend on Where You Live

On September 5, 2018, A federal district judge hears arguments in a lawsuit filed by 20 Republican governors and attorneys general to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, including its widely popular protections for people with pre-existing condition protections. Georgetown CHIR’s latest research for The Commonwealth Fund finds that a decision for the plaintiffs in this case could be be felt quite differently, depending on where you live. Continue reading

Health Care Sharing Ministries: What Are the Risks to Consumers and Insurance Markets?

Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSMs) are a form of health coverage in which members – who typically share a religious belief – make monthly payments to cover expenses of other members. HCSMs do not have to comply with the consumer protections of the ACA and may provide value for some individuals, but pose risks for others. We interviewed officials in 13 states and analyzed state laws in all states to better understand state regulators’ perspectives on regulation of HCSMs. Continue reading

Understanding the Market for Short-Term Health Plans: States Prepare to Identify, Oversee Sellers and Products

Last week, the Trump administration issued a final rule reversing federal limits on short-term health coverage, allowing such plans to become a long-term alternative to individual market coverage. On the eve of this policy shift, we surveyed Departments of Insurance in the seventeen state-based marketplace states to better understand their short-term markets. We found that most states do not have a complete picture of which insurers are marketing short-term policies in their state. Continue reading