Minority Health Month: National Latino Week of Action

April is Minority Health Month, a good time to consider ways to reduce the wide disparities in health insurance access and coverage that particularly affect people of color. For the National Latino Week of Action, CHIR looks at changes in the uninsured rate among the Latino/Hispanic community, and identifies opportunities to build on coverage gains thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Continue reading

Federal Policy Priorities for Preserving and Improving Access to Coverage: Perspectives from State-Based Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces provide a critical source of coverage and financial assistance. Federal actions under the Trump administration undermined the marketplaces, but the new administration and Congress have opportunities to implement and advocate for policies that strengthen state-based marketplaces (SBMs). In a new issue brief for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts assessed how federal policy decisions have impacted SBMs and the consumers they serve by interviewing directors and officials from 17 marketplaces. Continue reading

Many States with COVID-19 Special Enrollment Periods See Increase in Younger Enrollees

President Joe Biden directed his administration to reopen the federal health insurance marketplace, an action the Trump administration refused to take last year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck due to adverse selection concerns. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts discuss how states that created a broad special enrollment period (SEP) for the uninsured in response to the pandemic – and broadcast the opportunity through outreach efforts – saw an increase in younger enrollees, seemingly contradicting claims that reducing SEP barriers inevitably leads to adverse selection. Continue reading

Stakeholder Perspectives on CMS’s 2022 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters. Part 2: State Insurance Departments and Marketplaces

In one of the Trump administration’s last acts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized some of the major provisions of the 2022 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters. In the second part of our blog series reviewing stakeholder comments, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at how state insurance departments and state-based marketplaces responded to some of the recently finalized proposals. Continue reading

2020 – It’s a Wrap. CHIR Takes Stock of a Tumultuous, but Busy Year

We at Georgetown CHIR look back at this tumultuous, tragic, and eventful year and are thankful we have the opportunity to do the work we do. When the world went on lock down in early March, our team quickly pivoted to researching and writing about the government response to COVID-19 and its impact on health care coverage. We also wrote about surprise balance billing, junk insurance, and trends in provider-payer dynamics We share some of the highlights from our work here. Continue reading

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