CHIR Launches New Resource Center for Policymakers on Surprise Medical Bills

CHIR experts have launched a new project to provide policymakers with a dedicated, independent resource for unbiased and comprehensive information on the issue of surprise medical bills. Leveraging our experience advising state insurance regulators and monitoring surprise medical bill legislation in all 50 states and before Congress, our goal is to help policymakers protect consumers, promote affordability, and adopt comprehensive surprise medical bill protections. Continue reading

States Leaning In: Colorado

This year several states have taken an increasingly active role in expanding health insurance coverage, overseeing their insurance markets, and protecting consumers. Perhaps no state did more in 2019 than Colorado, which enacted a dizzying array of health insurance bills. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look in this installment of States Leaning In. Continue reading

Aliera Healthcare Prompts Increased State Activity on Health Care Sharing Ministries

Over the last few months, state officials have increasingly acted to warn consumers about the potential risks of enrolling in health care sharing ministries (HCSMs). These efforts have ranged from educating consumers on HCSMs to initiating legal action against fraudulent practices. While some consumers may find value in HCSMs, recent actions by Aliera Healthcare provide one example of how entities may use HCSMs’ unregulated status to skirt oversight and take advantage of consumers. Continue reading

DOJ’s Proposed Remedy in Texas v. United States Is an Unrealistic Solution

In supplemental briefings to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Department of Justice recently proposed that the Affordable Care Act be struck down in the eighteen plaintiff states bringing suit in Texas v. United States, but upheld in all other states. CHIR’s Emily Curran, Dania Palanker, and Sabrina Corlette explain why this “solution” would upend our system of employer-based coverage and is illogical given the ACA’s national reforms. Continue reading

New Addition to Advocate Toolkit Highlights Options for Protecting Consumers Amidst Expansion of Short-Term Plans

In July, a federal district court judge upheld the Trump administration’s rule expanding availability of short-term, limited duration insurance, or short-term plans, which do not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. With the help of CHIR experts, Community Catalyst has published another resource for state advocates and policymakers, providing an overview of short-term plans, insight on unscrupulous sales practices that leave consumers at risk, and state regulatory options. Continue reading

New Resources Arm Advocates with Tools to Defend Essential Health Benefits, Pre-Existing Condition Protections

On July 9, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Texas v. United States, the court case challenging the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) constitutionality. The litigation is ongoing, but if the plaintiffs prevail, the law could be overturned in its entirety. With the federal court case looming, state policymakers and advocates are looking for ways to preserve access to coverage in the absence of the ACA’s protections, including steps to codify the law’s key provisions into state law. To aid in these efforts, Community Catalyst has teamed up with CHIR experts to create two new guides for its health insurance reform toolkit: The Advocate’s Guide to Pre-Existing Condition Protections and The Advocate’s Guide to Essential Health Benefits. Continue reading

States Looking to Run Their Own Health Insurance Marketplace See Opportunity for Funding, Flexibility

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace. Recently, along with Pennsylvania, several states have taken steps towards transitioning to their own marketplace and enrollment platform. In their newest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab and JoAnn Volk review the latest state actions to transition to a state-run platform and break down some of the incentives for states to leave the federal marketplace. Continue reading

States Leaning In: Washington Doubles Down on Efforts to Shore up Market, Protect Consumers

In the wake of federal actions to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s reforms, states have assumed an even greater role in protecting consumers and ensuring market stability. Washington State, a long-time leader in state health insurance reform, has taken up that mantle. Since our last post highlighting Washington’s policy playbook, the state has implemented several more policies to preserve their insurance market and bolster consumer protections. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at some of the state’s new developments. Continue reading