On the Whole, Health Insurers Aren’t – Yet – Fearing COVID-19 Costs: A Review of 2021 Rate Filings

Several states ask for – and publicly post – health insurers’ proposed 2021 premium rates in May and June. These early rate filings can provide hints about how insurers are responding to market trends, policy changes, and emerging drivers of health care costs. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette took a deep dive into insurers’ actuarial memos to find out how they’re thinking about COVID-19, repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, and more. Continue reading

I’ve been calling for greater private insurance coverage of COVID-19 testing. I’ve been wrong

As the nation combats the biggest threat to its public health and economy that any of us have seen in our lifetimes, the key to recovery will lie in widespread, universally accessible testing for COVID-19. In a recent blog post for Health Affairs, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette argues that our traditional, insurance-based model of financing health care services won’t work if we want to use testing to help us get back to work, schools, and community life. Continue reading

The Final 2021 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters: Implications for States

The Trump administration has released the annual rule governing insurance standards and marketplace operations under the Affordable Care Act. In an Expert Perspective for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health & Value Strategies project, Sabrina Corlette assesses the implications for state insurance regulation and the state-based marketplaces. Continue reading

A Mixed Bag for States: The Proposed 2021 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

The Trump administration’s proposed rule governing the Affordable Care Act insurance markets for 2021 has been published, and comments are due from the public by March 2, 2020. In her latest article for the State Health & Value Strategies program, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette provides a detailed overview of changes proposed in the rule, with a focus on the implications for state departments of insurance and the health insurance marketplaces. Continue reading

5th Circuit Decision in Texas v. U.S. Prolongs Uncertainty for Health Care Consumers, Markets

Perhaps knowing their decision would sow consumer confusion and market uncertainty, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals delayed its decision in the Texas v. U.S. litigation until after the close of open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance coverage. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette delves into the consequences of the long-awaited December 18, 2019 decision. Continue reading

Disputes over Dispute Resolution: Analyses of New York & California-style Surprise Billing Protections Offer Divergent Pictures

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has a new analysis of legislation that would protect patients from surprise medical bills and help settle physician-insurer payment disputes through an arbitration process. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette takes a look at their projections and three recent assessments of the effect of balance billing laws in New York and California Continue reading

Will it Fly? Wyoming Attempts End Run Around High Air Ambulance Prices

Air ambulance charges are a significant source of surprise out-of-network bills for many patients, with charges running into 5 figures. States have been frustrated in their efforts to protect consumers in this context due to a federal law preempting regulation of air carrier prices, including air ambulances. However, the state of Wyoming may have hit on a unique solution – effectively making air ambulance a public utility. Will it work? CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette takes a look. Continue reading

Are the Affordable Care Act Markets “Stabilizing”? Early 2020 Rate Filings Give Little Cause for Celebration

Changes in premiums are a key indicator of the overall health of an insurance market. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette dug into the rate submissions of 2020 individual market health insurers in several states that have publicly released their filings. She finds a less rosy picture than the relatively modest average rate changes might suggest. Continue reading