Keeping Surprise Billing Out Of Coronavirus Treatment

Surprise medical bills, which were already a concern for many consumers, are expected to increase because of the coronavirus crisis. While Congress should adopt a comprehensive solution for all patients, protecting those affected by coronavirus is critical and should be done quickly. In a post for the Health Affairs Blog, Jack Hoadley, Kevin Lucia, and Katie Keith propose an immediate, short-term solution that Congress could adopt now to protect patients from surprise bills due to coronavirus. Continue reading

Navigating Coverage During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Frequently Asked Questions

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been the cause of confusion and anxiety for individuals and families across the country, especially when it comes to health care. We’ve pulled together some frequently asked questions, and added new COVID-19-specific inquiries, from our Navigator Resource Guide to help guide Navigators, brokers, assisters, and consumers through this complex and trying time. Continue reading

On its 10th Anniversary, during a Public Health Crisis, the Affordable Care Act is More Important Than Ever

The past few weeks have tested the U.S. health care system. In a world where we are all at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, access to health care is a universal human need. On the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, CHIR takes some time to consider how battling this pandemic would have been even more difficult if it weren’t for this groundbreaking federal law. Continue reading

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

There Are New Federal “Public Charge” Rules Going Into Effect Next Week: Here’s What You Need to Know

Beginning February 24, 2020, new rules that expand the criteria for determining whether certain immigrants would be considered a “public charge” are going into effect. While appeals of these new expanded rules make their way through the courts, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the policy may take effect in all states except Illinois, where a separate injunction remains statewide. As the changing rules can be confusing for consumers and assisters, we’ve updated our Navigator Resource Guide to help break it down. 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