U.S. House Investigation Offers New Evidence on the Dangers of Short-Term Plans

On June 25, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released the results of a year-long investigation into the practices of the Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance industry. The Committee looked into 14 companies that sell or assist consumers in enrolling in short-term plans, and its findings confirm what we have known for some time – short-term plans are a bad deal for consumers. CHIR’s Emily Curran discusses five highlights from the Committee’s report, including new evidence on the status of the STLDI market. Continue reading

Health Insurers Respond to the COVID-19 Outbreak, Prioritizing Support for Providers and Consumers

As the COVID-19 crisis escalates, stakeholders across the health care industry are working to keep consumers healthy and provide financial assistance and flexibility to those who have lost their job or health insurance. CHIR’s Emily Curran tells us how health insurers are doing their part to alleviate consumers’ concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

Payer-Provider Contract Disputes Dominate Headlines in 2019, With No Signs of Slowing Down

For several years, we at CHIR have tracked health insurance industry trends by monitoring trade and mass media, Wall Street analyses, earnings, and other reports. In 2019, we observed an increase in reporting on contract disputes between health insurers and providers. These discussions are becoming more contentious as insurers face mounting pressure to rein in health care costs while ensuring consumers’ access to providers. CHIR’s Emily Curran digs into what’s behind the trend and what it means for patients. Continue reading

Insurers Report on Their Q3 Financial Earnings: Marketplace Profitability, Retail Partnerships, and More

Last month, health insurers reported on their third-quarter (Q3) financial earnings, offering insights on their yearly performance to date and commenting on the market and regulatory challenges they see ahead. CHIR reviewed the quarterly filings and earnings call transcripts for seven publicly traded health insurers, and found that many continue to experience financial stability in the individual market and are closely monitoring major policy changes that could have an impact on their businesses moving forward. Continue reading

What’s New for 2020 Marketplace Enrollment?

On November 1, the seventh open enrollment period begins for marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We at CHIR are tracking several policy changes that could affect marketplace enrollment and plan affordability in 2020, including: changes to health reimbursement arrangements, new direct enrollment pathways, and recent court rulings on association health plans and the public charge rule. To learn what’s new for 2020, read our CHIRBlog summarizing the major policy changes consumers might encounter this year. Continue reading

Stakeholders Weigh in on the Risk Corridor Litigation: Are Public-Private Partnerships At Risk?

On December 10, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Maine Community Health Options v. U.S., a case concerning the Affordable Care Act’s risk corridors program. This month, nine stakeholders filed amicus briefs in preparation of the arguments and we reviewed these briefs to identify common themes. One key theme emerged from the stakeholders reviewed: that the Court’s decision could negatively impact public-private partnerships. Continue reading

Aliera Healthcare Prompts Increased State Activity on Health Care Sharing Ministries

Over the last few months, state officials have increasingly acted to warn consumers about the potential risks of enrolling in health care sharing ministries (HCSMs). These efforts have ranged from educating consumers on HCSMs to initiating legal action against fraudulent practices. While some consumers may find value in HCSMs, recent actions by Aliera Healthcare provide one example of how entities may use HCSMs’ unregulated status to skirt oversight and take advantage of consumers. Continue reading

Proposed Rule on Basic Health Program Impedes States’ Progress

Recently, CMS issued a proposed rule modifying the federal funding methodology for the Basic Health Program (BHP) for 2019 and 2020. Under the proposal, technical changes could cause participating states to lose $300 million in federal funding. While funding for the programs is being debated, we checked in on how Minnesota and New York’s BHPs are faring amidst federal uncertainty. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’s Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. Part 1: Insurers

On January 18, the Department of Health and Human Services issued its Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020, which outlines the changes that it plans to apply to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and insurance rules in the next plan year. The agency received over 26,100 comments on the proposal, including many from insurers, state-based marketplaces, departments of insurance, and consumer advocates. To better understand stakeholder reactions to the proposals, CHIR reviewed a sample of these comments, and, in Part I of this series, we summarize areas of support and concern from major medical insurers and associations. Continue reading