What’s Going on in Tennessee? One Possible Reason for Its Affordable Care Act Challenges

Recently the Governor of Tennessee observed that his state was “ground zero” for insurers pulling out of the ACA marketplaces. In the wake of Humana’s decision to withdraw from the marketplaces for 2018, the residents of 16 counties in that state face the prospect of no insurance company at all from which to buy a subsidized health plan. Tennessee is not alone in having a fragile ACA marketplace, but its situation is particularly acute, especially if no other insurer can be persuaded to operate in those counties. Why is Tennessee’s market struggling, when other states with similar demographics, such as Arkansas, have more competition and market stability? Continue reading

Selling Health Insurance Across State Lines Doesn’t Lower Costs for Consumers

In the wake of the failure of the legislative effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the fate of the President’s proposal to authorize the sale of insurance “across state lines” is unclear. In their latest article for the Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia examine different potential approaches to promoting cross-state sale of insurance and what they mean for states and consumers. Continue reading

Loss of Cost-Sharing Reductions in the ACA Marketplace: Impact on Consumers and Insurer Participation

In an updated article published on The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point site, CHIR experts JoAnn Volk, Dania Palanker, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia examine the possibility that the Trump administration will pull the plug on the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and discuss the potential consequences for individual health insurance markets and the consumers who rely on it. Continue reading

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