Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: What Are the Risks of Buying Off-Marketplace?

Open Enrollment in most states ends in just over two weeks, on December 15. While consumers are weighing their coverage options, we know that affordability is top of mind. Consumers who are ineligible for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) tax subsidies might want to look outside of the marketplace for slightly better deals on health plans. While doing so, however, consumers should be wary of what they might find. In this installment, we’ve collected a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) from our Navigator Resource Guide on junk plans.

Continue reading

The Congressional Budget Office Definition of “Health Insurance” Leaves Room for Wide Coverage Gaps, Discrimination

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) frequently estimates how policy proposals will affect rates of health insurance coverage. To make these assessments, the agency relies on a definition including coverage that can discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and fail to cover key health services like prescription drugs, practices that are outlawed in the individual health insurance market under the ACA. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at the CBO’s current definition of health insurance, and the impact it has on health insurance reform efforts. Continue reading

Navigator Guide FAQ of The Week: Comparing Plans

With Open Enrollment now underway, consumers are weighing their options for 2021 and trying to find the right plan that meets their health needs. As consumers make their decision, it is important for them to understand what they are buying and what coverage their plan provides. This week the CHIR team answers questions about the various plans offered through the marketplace. Continue reading

Stable Rates Reflect Strength of ACA Marketplaces

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many predicted that insurers would need to dramatically hike their premiums. As it turned out, the opposite occurred, with average rates declining for 2021. In an Expert Perspective post for the State Health & Value Strategies program, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Manatt Health’s Joel Ario examine the factors that led to a stable year for ACA insurance rates. Continue reading

Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: Who is Eligible for Financial Assistance?

Open Enrollment is in full swing across the country. 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

COVID-19 and MLR Guidance on Risk Corridor Recoveries: State Options for Restoring Funds to Policyholders and the Public

The Supreme Court has required the federal government to reimburse health insurers for an estimated $12.3 billion in unpaid risk corridor funds and the Trump administration recently published guidance to insurers that affects the amount to be returned to policyholders. In an Expert Perspective for the State Health & Value Strategies program, Sabrina Corlette and Jason Levitis consider the effects of this guidance and state options for redirecting insurers’ extra cash to benefit policyholders and the public. Continue reading

Ensuring Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine for Enrollees in Private Health Insurance: A Roadmap for States

States and the federal government are preparing for the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine. But just as important as distributing and administering the vaccine is figuring out how to pay for it. In her latest “expert perspective” for the State Health & Value Strategies program, Sabrina Corlette discusses recent federal efforts to ensure that private health plans cover the full costs of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as options for states to close potential gaps in coverage. Continue reading

Navigator Guide FAQs of the Week: I Need Health Insurance. Where Should I buy it?

Open enrollment for the Obamacare marketplaces begins on November 1. While CHIR has been working hard the last several weeks to re-launch its Navigator Resource Guide with updated frequently asked questions and other exciting new features, many are just beginning to think about their health plan options for 2021. For those folks we have some helpful FAQs about the importance of coverage and the process for applying. Continue reading