Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: What Does My Plan Cover?

With Open Enrollment now well 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. Throughout the enrollment period, the CHIR team is highlighting frequently asked questions (FAQs) from our recently updated Navigator Resource Guide. In this installation, we answer FAQs about marketplace plans’ coverage standards. 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: Who Is Eligible To Purchase Coverage Through the Marketplace?

November 1 marked the first day of open enrollment on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. To help Navigators and others assisting consumers with marketplace eligibility and enrollment, we’ve created the Navigator Resource Guide. Each week we’ll feature answers to questions that may be top of mind for consumers, such as who is eligible to shop for a marketplace plan. Continue reading

What’s New for 2021 Marketplace Enrollment?

On November 1, the eighth open enrollment period begins for marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We at CHIR are tracking several policy changes that could affect marketplace enrollment and plan affordability in 2021, including: impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, new special enrollment periods, and recent court rulings on contraception coverage and the public charge rule. To learn what’s new for 2021, read our CHIRBlog summarizing the major policy changes consumers might encounter this year. Continue reading

Trump Administration Promotes Coverage That Fails to Adequately Cover Women’s Key Health Care Needs

The ACA expanded women’s access to comprehensive coverage. The Trump administration is seeking to overturn the law while promoting coverage options that are exempt from the ACA’s consumer protections, including short-term plans and health care sharing ministries. In a new post for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts examine the differences between ACA plans and the alternatives promoted by the Trump administration, finding that these products frequently exclude or severely limit coverage of services that are critical to women’s health. Continue reading

Aggressive Medical Debt Collections: COVID-related Consumer Protections Could be a Model for Long-term Relief

A new investigative report shows that even the COVID-19 crisis has not stopped many hospital systems from using aggressive collections practices to collect on unpaid medical debt. CHIR’s Maanasa Kona takes a deep dive into the problem of medical debt and aggressive collections practices, and how the government can step in to protect consumers. Continue reading

Labor Day in a Pandemic: The Varnish of “Gold Standard” Employer Coverage is Wearing Thin

CHIRblog took a break for Labor Day, but in light of the holiday, we continue to think about problems workers face getting access to affordable health insurance. Employer plans are often touted as the “gold standard” in health insurance. But millions of workers with job-based plans are underinsured, facing high cost sharing and premiums, and the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating problems with inadequate coverage as well as insurance access. Continue reading