Texas Court Ruling Throws Future of ACA’s Pre-existing Condition Protections, Coverage Gains into Doubt

A district court judge in Texas has issued a ruling that could throw close to one-fifth of the U.S. economy into chaos and upend health care for millions. While the case over the future of the Affordable Care Act wends its way through the courts, CHIR takes a moment to think about what the decision could mean for the consumers and families for whom the law has been a literal lifeline. Continue reading

State Insurance Department Consumer Alerts on Short-Term Plans Come Up Short

Open Enrollment for 2019 has ended in most states, but consumers are sure to be bombarded with sales pitches for alternative insurance products well beyond the December 15th deadline. Short-term plans are often marketed as lower-priced substitutes for ACA-compliant coverage, even though they cover far less. Since the Trump administration lowered federal guardrails on short-term plans, it has become particularly important for state insurance departments to highlight the limitations of these products. CHIR looked at insurance department websites to see what information was available for consumers regarding short-term plans. Continue reading

New Georgetown Report: Assessing the Effectiveness of State-Based Reinsurance

As state legislatures across the country prepare to convene in 2019, improving access to affordable health coverage will likely be on the agenda. Several newly elected officials have expressed an interest in establishing a state reinsurance program, following in the footsteps of a handful of states who have utilized the Affordable Care Act’s 1332 waivers for this purpose. As reinsurance gains ground as a state-level effort to promote market stability, stakeholders can learn from the experience of states that have already implemented reinsurance programs. In a new report from Georgetown, authors Rachel Schwab, Emily Curran, and Sabrina Corlette evaluate progress in the three states that have operational reinsurance programs: Alaska, Minnesota, and Oregon. Continue reading

Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: Eligibility for Premium Tax Credits

The midterm elections are over, but open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act marketplaces is in full swing. Georgetown CHIR has created a Navigator Resource Guide with 300+ answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about marketplace eligibility, enrollment, and coverage. For our FAQ of the Week we’re focusing on: Who is eligible for financial help with premiums? Continue reading

October Research Round Up: What We’re Reading

From price variation in hospital services paid by private insurers to how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has affected part-time workers, researchers have brought us plenty of interesting health policy findings this month. In October, CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe breaks down studies that examine coverage trends, health care costs, immigrant health, and insurers’ marketplace participation and financial performance. Continue reading

Virginia’s Enrollment Season Perfect Storm

Across the country, states are yet again dealing with policy changes just before the fall open enrollment season. Virginia, however, is a special case. The state is dealing with simultaneous implementation of Medicaid expansion, expanded short-term limited duration insurance and association health plans, and changes to the definition of sole proprietors for small employers, all with less funding for the navigator program. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe breaks down how each change affects Virginians. Continue reading

States Lean In as the Federal Government Cuts Back: Navigator and Advertising Funding for the ACA’s Sixth Open Enrollment

With open enrollment into the Affordable Care Act marketplaces beginning November 1st, there will be considerable divergence among states in the amount of information and personalized assistance consumers receive about coverage options. While the federally run marketplace has dramatically cut back its investments in both advertising and the Navigator program, the state-based marketplaces are making big investments in those activities. In their latest To The Point blog for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Rachel Schwab discuss the findings from a new survey of state-based marketplaces. Continue reading