A Placeholder Won’t Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions

President Donald Trump has voiced an “ironclad pledge” to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, but his 2021 budget proposal, which repeats this promise, is silent on how he would do that. At the same time, the Trump administration has taken numerous actions that undermine the Affordable Care Act, including its support of a lawsuit to overturn the ACA and its key protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Continue reading

The Texas Two-Step: Implementation of State Balance Billing Law Reveals Gaps in Consumer Protections

In Congress and state legislatures across the country, policymakers are debating fixes to surprise medical bills. The federal government has yet to enact comprehensive reforms, but a number of states have taken steps to protect consumers. One such state is Texas, which last year enacted a new law holding consumers harmless in situations that commonly lead to surprise medical bills. However, the state’s new protections were almost gutted due to an implementation loophole, a cautionary tale for federal and state policymakers. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at what happened in Texas. Continue reading

This Thanksgiving, We’re Thankful for the Affordable Care Act’s Protections

It’s that time of year again. Our team at CHIR is heading far and wide for Thanksgiving, and as we gather around different tables, we’ll be sure to give thanks. One thing on our minds this season is our gratitude for the ongoing insurance protections provided by the Affordable Care Act. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab highlights some of the reforms we’re grateful for. Continue reading

Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: Can I Get Help Paying for Coverage and Care?

Open Enrollment is in full swing in all 50 states and Washington, DC. As consumers consider their coverage options, many will qualify for subsidies to help pay for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses if they enroll in a plan through the marketplace. Throughout the enrollment period, CHIR is highlighting frequently asked questions from our recently updated Navigator Resource Guide. In this installation, we answer questions about financial assistance available to individuals and families. Continue reading

As Maryland Charts a New Course for Lowering Barriers to Coverage, Feds Could Raise Them

Maryland is implementing a program that offers a new, easy way to enroll in comprehensive and affordable health insurance. At the same time, the federal government is considering ending auto renewal in the marketplaces, which facilitates millions of enrollments each year. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at Maryland’s new program, and how state and federal enrollment policy can impact consumers’ access to coverage. Continue reading

States Leaning In: Colorado

This year several states have taken an increasingly active role in expanding health insurance coverage, overseeing their insurance markets, and protecting consumers. Perhaps no state did more in 2019 than Colorado, which enacted a dizzying array of health insurance bills. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look in this installment of States Leaning In. Continue reading

States Leaning In: Washington Doubles Down on Efforts to Shore up Market, Protect Consumers

In the wake of federal actions to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s reforms, states have assumed an even greater role in protecting consumers and ensuring market stability. Washington State, a long-time leader in state health insurance reform, has taken up that mantle. Since our last post highlighting Washington’s policy playbook, the state has implemented several more policies to preserve their insurance market and bolster consumer protections. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at some of the state’s new developments. Continue reading

Coming up Short: The Problem with Counting Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance as Coverage

In April, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of federal legislation to reverse the Trump administration’s rule expanding access to short-term, limited duration insurance policies, which do not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. CBO estimated that reversing the rule would result in 500,000 people going uninsured, predicated on the assumption that most short-term plans count as “insurance.” For people with preexisting conditions, nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’s Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. Part 2: State Insurance Departments and Marketplaces

On April 18, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized changes to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and insurance rules in the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2020 plan year. The agency received over 26,000 comments on the proposal. To gauge stakeholder reactions, CHIR reviewed a sample of these comments. In the second part of our blog series, Rachel Schwab summarizes responses from a selection of state insurance departments and state-based marketplaces. Continue reading