Halbig v. Sebelius and State Motivations to Opt for Federally Run Exchanges

A number of states recently filed amicus briefs in a court battle over whether federally facilitated exchanges can provide premium tax credits to low- and middle-income consumers. Because the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate penalties are contingent on employees accessing subsidized coverage through an exchange, the states are asserting that they purposefully opted for federally run exchanges so employers would not face this burden. In a guest post, former CHIR researcher Christine Monahan assesses the veracity of this claim. Continue reading

How States are Simplifying Plan Choice in State-Based Marketplaces

Choosing the health plan that best meets your needs is no easy task, with much at stake in terms of both financial protection and access to care. In a new issue brief for The Commonwealth Fund, Christine Monahan, Sarah Dash, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette examine the actions taken by state-based health insurance marketplaces to simplify health plan choices. Continue reading

The Affordable Care Act’s Early Renewal Loophole: What’s at Stake and What States Are Doing to Close It

The Affordable Care Act includes sweeping insurance reforms to improve the affordability and adequacy of coverage. However, some insurers have begun encouraging their customers to renew their coverage ahead of schedule in order to delay implementing these reforms for up to 12 months. In a post that originally appeared on the Commonwealth Fund blog, Christine Monahan and Sabrina Corlette describe how insurers are taking advantage of a loophole in the law and summarize states’ efforts to prohibit or limit the practice. Continue reading

Multi-State Plan Program Final Rule: OPM's Balancing Act

The Office of Personnel Management recently issued a final rule on the multi-state plan program in which it attempts to standardize contracting processes and state rules to, in theory, make it easier for insurers to enter new markets while limiting the extent to which multi-state plan issuers can bypass state consumer protections and preserving a level playing field in exchanges. Christine Monahan discusses how OPM has attempted to balance these competing pressures and discusses where multi-state plans may or may not have flexibility. Continue reading

Evolving Dynamics of Health Insurance Exchange Implementation

Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the roles of states and the federal government in establishing health insurance exchanges—marketplaces where people can shop for comprehensive and affordable health plans—have evolved considerably. In a post that originally appeared on The Commonwealth Fund Blog, Sarah Dash, Christine Monahan, and Kevin Lucia describe where exchange establishment decisions currently stand. Continue reading

Oh Where, Oh Where Are The Multi-State Plans?

More than two months after the deadline for health insurance issuers to submit applications for the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) multi-state plan program, news is finally starting to trickle out about participating insurers and the first batch of states that are expecting to see multi-state plans on their exchanges. Christine Monahan shares the latest developments. Continue reading