The Ever-Shrinking Pilot to Inform Consumers About Health Plans’ Network Size

The agency running the federal health insurance marketplace announced on September 30 they would provide information on the size of health plans’ provider networks in just four states “at some point” during the coming open enrollment season. This is a dramatic roll back from the anticipated availability of the system in 34 states in 2017. Sabrina Corlette takes a look at the latest guidance and what it means for consumers. Continue reading

One Way Insurers Could Improve Marketplace Risk Pools? Stop Cannibalizing Their Own Business

It’s starting to be as predictable as April showers. As soon as open enrollment for ACA health plans closes, insurers come out of the woodwork to sell limited coverage insurance products, such as short-term policies, that don’t meet ACA standards. Sabrina Corlette explains why doing so is siphoning off healthy risk from the marketplaces and undermining the profitability of ACA-compliant plans. Continue reading

The Failure of the ACA’s Health CO-OPs: Lessons for Policymakers

The failure of 12 of the Affordable Care Act’s CO-OP plans reveals much about the huge barriers facing new companies entering the highly concentrated health insurance market. Sabrina Corlette takes a look at some of the lessons that policymakers – and regulators with oversight over the proposed mergers in the health insurance industry – can draw from the CO-OPs’ experiences. Continue reading

What About “Don’t Discriminate Against Sick People” Do You Not Understand?

Although it’s a complicated law, there’s one thing about the ACA that’s not at all complicated: the requirement that insurers stop discriminating against sick people. Yet some insurance companies still appear confused by this rule. Sabrina Corlette looks at recent insurer attempts to discourage sicker, older people from enrolling in their plans – and the efforts of at least one state to combat them. Continue reading