States Work to Preserve Affordable Care Act Progress amidst Federal Disorder

It’s been a bumpy year for state insurance and marketplace officials, thanks to considerable uncertainty over the future of the ACA. CHIR’s Emily Curran highlights recent action suggesting that some states may be poised to reassert their authority over their insurance markets, as they work to maintain the ACA’s coverage gains and keep their markets stable. Continue reading

A Blow to Working Class Coverage

On the heels of multiple failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump attempts to do what Congress could not: roll back the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In an opinion piece for U.S. News & World Report, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette breaks down the potential impact of the President’s recent executive order. Continue reading

State Options Blog Series: Federal Regulators May Weaken ACA Essential Health Benefits Requirements, Creating Need for States to Protect Consumers

In the third of a multi-part blog series on state options in the wake of federal actions to roll back or relax Affordable Care Act regulation, Dania Palanker reviews potential changes to the essential health benefit standard and the implications for consumers. She discusses what state legislatures and insurance regulators can do to ensure consumers continue to access affordable health care services. Continue reading

State Options Blog Series: Federal Regulators Relax ACA Health Plan Oversight, Creating Opportunities and Challenges for States

In the second of a multi-part blog series on state options in the wake of federal actions to roll back or relax Affordable Care Act regulation, Sabrina Corlette reviews the new approach to health plan management in the federally run marketplaces. She discusses the implications for consumers and what state insurance regulators may need in order to enhance health plan oversight. Continue reading

States Take the Lead with Policies to Protect Residents with Chronic Conditions from High Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs

Lowering the cost of prescription medication has broad support over the political spectrum and there were many campaign promises to reduce prices. But to date, there’s been little federal action. States, however, are taking the lead with policies designed to protect consumers with chronic conditions from high out-of-pocket costs associated with expensive specialty drugs. A new CHIR brief details the findings from a 50-state survey of such policies and observations from supplementary interviews with state regulators, insurance company representatives and consumer advocates. Continue reading

Recent and Potential Regulatory Actions to Roll Back the ACA: State Options Blog Series

While members of Congress debate possible bipartisan actions on the ACA, the future sustainability of the ACA’s consumer protections and markets also depend on regulatory and administrative actions. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette reviews a series of recent actions by HHS to recast the federal approach to health plan oversight and tees up an upcoming series of CHIRblog posts outlining options for states that want to retain some or all of the reforms adopted by the ACA. Continue reading

Future of Health Reform: A prescription for individual market stability

As policy uncertainty in Washington, DC roils health insurance markets nationwide, states like Minnesota are stepping up to preserve consumer coverage choices and keep premiums affordable. In a conference at the University of Minnesota School of Public Affairs sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette joined in a wide-ranging discussion with state leaders over the future of the ACA. BCBSM’s Laura Kaslow shares some takeaways from the event. Continue reading

Lots of Questions but Few Answers: NAIC’s 2017 Summer Meeting

State insurance regulators met for the NAIC’s annual summer meeting in Philadelphia last week amidst continued uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act. CHIR’s JoAnn Volk was there to observe the action and report out on how states are working to protect consumers and keep their insurance markets stable in spite of many unanswered questions from federal officials. Continue reading

Relaxing the ACA’s Regulations: Stakeholders Respond to HHS’ Request for Information: Part 1—Insurers

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asked this spring for public comments on potential changes to the Affordable Care Act. They received over 3,270 comments from a wide range of stakeholders. To better understand concerns related to the law, CHIR experts pulled a sample of comments from health insurers, state regulators, and consumer advocates. In Part 1 of this three-part series, Emily Curran reviews the recommendations of large and small insurers. Continue reading