House Proposal to Promote Association Health Plans Poses Risks for Insurance Markets, Consumers

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to promote federally certified association health plans (AHPs) on March 22, 2017. Widely seen as a “second phase” of Affordable Care Act repeal, the AHP proposal poses significant risks for small employers and would hinder states’ ability to protect their consumers. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette take a look at the bill and what it would mean for the small business health insurance market. Continue reading

Maryland CO-OP Health Plan Becomes a For-Profit Company

Just hours before President Trump took the oath of office, the Maryland health insurance CO-OP Evergreen Health officially closed a deal with the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) to sever its ties with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) CO-OP program. The company will now transition from a nonprofit to a for-profit company, allowing it to gain an infusion of financing from outside investors. Executives credited the deal with enabling Evergreen to survive and stay competitive. However, it also provides insight into the immense challenges involved in starting up a new insurance company in the current market, even with federal financing. Continue reading

CHIR Expert Testifies Before the House Committee on Small Business Regarding Enhancements to the ACA

On February 7, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing titled, “Reimagining the Health Care Marketplace for America’s Small Businesses,” to discuss the challenges small businesses are facing in the health insurance marketplaces and to offer potential solutions for the next phase of reform. Georgetown’s own Dania Palanker provided testimony on how the ACA has helped to lessen the burdens for small business owners who wish to provide health coverage to employees. Continue reading

Affordable Care Act Repeal Efforts Would Impact State Laws, Too

With much of the attention about ACA repeal efforts focused on Washington DC, it’s easy to forget that repeal-and-replacement efforts would significantly affect state approaches to insurance regulation. In their latest article for The Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, Kevin Lucia and Katie Keith examine what might happen in the 32 states and D.C. that have adopted state-level ACA protections. Continue reading

Repealing The ACA Could Worsen The Opioid Epidemic

As our country grapples with an “unprecedented opioid epidemic,” Congress is taking steps to take away an important tool to fight it — the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In a post for the Health Affairs blog, CHIR expert Dania Palanker and Urban Institute researchers Lisa Clemans-Cope and Jane Wishner assess policies and programs under the ACA that have helped tackle the opioid crisis and what could be lost if they are repealed. Continue reading