Banning Surprise Bills: Biden Administration Issues First Rule On The No Surprises Act

When Congress enacted the “No Surprises Act” last year to ban unexpected out-of-network medical bills, it was left to the Biden administration to implement these historic consumer protections. CHIR’s Katie Keith, Jack Hoadley, and Kevin Lucia provide a detailed summary of the first round of federal rules flowing from this new law in their latest post for the Health Affairs blog. Continue reading

“As if COVID-19 Did Not Exist”: Health Plans Prepare for 2022 in Early Rate Filings

Several states ask for – and publicly post – health insurers’ proposed 2022 premium rates in May and June. These early rate filings can provide hints about how insurers are responding to market trends, policy changes, and emerging drivers of health care costs. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette took a deep dive into insurers’ actuarial memos to find out how they’re thinking about health care spending after COVID-19, the American Rescue Plan, and more. Continue reading

A Permanent Boost to Federal Premium Assistance Could Change State Approaches to ACA 1332 Waivers

The American Rescue Plan temporarily increases the availability and generosity of federal premium assistance for people who obtain coverage through the ACA marketplaces. Were Congress to make these premium subsidy enhancements permanent, states would have more breathing space to address other barriers to care, potentially with support from an ACA Section 1332 waiver. In a new work for The Commonwealth Fund, Justin Giovannelli examines how a permanent boost to federal subsidies could give states new and different opportunities to help their residents using the ACA’s waiver program. Continue reading

The Affordable Care Act in the Biden Era: Identifying Federal Priorities for Administrative Action

The Biden administration has pledged to use its executive authority to build on and improve the Affordable Care Act. In a new issue brief for the Commonwealth Fund, Katie Keith analyzes recommendations to the Biden–Harris presidential transition team made by patient and consumer advocates, health insurers, hospitals, physicians, state marketplace officials, and state insurance commissioners to identify high-priority policy changes. Continue reading

The Final 2022 Notice of Benefit & Payment Parameters: Implications for States

In its first major rulemaking related to the Affordable Care Act, the Biden administration published the final 2022 “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters” on April 30. Sabrina Corlette reviews the rule and its implications for state insurance regulation and the health insurance marketplaces in her latest “Expert Perspective” for the State Health & Value Strategies project. Continue reading