Georgia’s ACA Waiver Flouts Federal Law, Drawing a Legal Challenge

With the approval of the Trump administration, the state of Georgia is poised to upend the Affordable Care Act, abandon HealthCare.gov, and place the coverage of hundreds of thousands of Georgians at risk. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Justin Giovannelli, JoAnn Volk, and Kevin Lucia evaluate the potential impact of Georgia’s proposed reforms, should they be implemented. Continue reading

Many States with COVID-19 Special Enrollment Periods See Increase in Younger Enrollees

President Joe Biden directed his administration to reopen the federal health insurance marketplace, an action the Trump administration refused to take last year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck due to adverse selection concerns. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts discuss how states that created a broad special enrollment period (SEP) for the uninsured in response to the pandemic – and broadcast the opportunity through outreach efforts – saw an increase in younger enrollees, seemingly contradicting claims that reducing SEP barriers inevitably leads to adverse selection. Continue reading

The No Surprises Act: Implications for States

In the waning days of 2020, Congress enacted the No Surprises Act, which provides, for the first time, protections for consumers against surprise bills from out-of-network medical providers. The legislation has numerous implications for states that have their own balance billing protections, as well as for those that do not. In their latest Expert Perspective article for the State Health & Value Strategies program, JoAnn Volk and Sabrina Corlette review some of the more critical issues state regulators will need to consider as this new federal law is implemented. Continue reading

Unpacking The No Surprises Act: An Opportunity To Protect Millions

Congress included the No Surprises Act in the omnibus spending bill that was passed and signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020. The bill protects patients from unexpected bills for out-of-network emergency and other services consumers are unable to agree to in advance. Georgetown experts Jack Hoadley, Katie Keith, and Kevin Lucia unpack the legislation in a blog post for Health Affairs. Continue reading

Surprise Billing Protections: Help Finally Arrives for Millions of Americans

Congress enacted the “No Surprises Act” as part of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief and government spending bill. The Act will protect millions of patients from surprise out-of-network medical bills. In their latest To the Point post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Jack Hoadley, Kevin Lucia, and Beth Fuchs unpack the legislation and what it means for patients. Continue reading

2020 – It’s a Wrap. CHIR Takes Stock of a Tumultuous, but Busy Year

We at Georgetown CHIR look back at this tumultuous, tragic, and eventful year and are thankful we have the opportunity to do the work we do. When the world went on lock down in early March, our team quickly pivoted to researching and writing about the government response to COVID-19 and its impact on health care coverage. We also wrote about surprise balance billing, junk insurance, and trends in provider-payer dynamics We share some of the highlights from our work here. Continue reading

The Benefits and Limitations of State-Run Individual Market Reinsurance

The Affordable Care Act brought about historic coverage gains, providing millions of Americans with vital access to comprehensive health insurance. But for many, high premiums continue to present a major barrier to coverage. States have adopted various policies to make health plans on the individual market more affordable, pursuing one approach more than others: reinsurance. In a new issue brief for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts explore the benefits and limitations of state-run individual market reinsurance programs. Continue reading

The COVID-19 Vaccine is Coming, but Will it Be Paid For? Federal and State Policies to Fill Gaps in Insurance Coverage

Vaccinations against COVID-19 are on their way. For consumers in Affordable Care Act plans, immunization should have it fully covered by their insurance. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Madeline O’Brien review federal and state mandates to cover the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as potential gaps consumers could still fall into. Continue reading

Stable Rates Reflect Strength of ACA Marketplaces

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many predicted that insurers would need to dramatically hike their premiums. As it turned out, the opposite occurred, with average rates declining for 2021. In an Expert Perspective post for the State Health & Value Strategies program, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Manatt Health’s Joel Ario examine the factors that led to a stable year for ACA insurance rates. Continue reading