Tick Tock: An Unforgiving Calendar for Health Plans Makes Orderly “Transition” for Affordable Care Act Repeal Unlikely

The incoming Congress and Administration have pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act but hope to minimize disruption by providing for a transition period. However, insurers must make key decisions about health plans and pricing far in advance of bringing those plans to market. In an ongoing series of articles for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia partner with Julie Andrews of Wakely Consulting Group to examine how the uncertainty created by Congressional action could result in far fewer plan choices and significantly higher premiums for consumers. Continue reading

New Analysis: Repeal of the Affordable Care Act through Reconciliation Throws Almost 30 Million off Coverage

A new Urban Institute analysis shows that close to 30 million people will lose coverage if the Affordable Care Act is partially repealed through a budget reconciliation process. This will result in national uninsurance rates that are actually higher than they were before the ACA was enacted. What’s behind the numbers? Sabrina Corlette takes a look. Continue reading

The Affordable Care Act prohibits discriminatory benefit design, but how is that enforced?

The Affordable Care Act put in place new protections to prevent health plan benefit designs that discriminate against people based on their health needs. But implementing and enforcing those protections have been easier said than done. CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia take a look at regulatory lessons learned and challenges ahead. Continue reading

Definition of Insanity? Trump Transition Team Proposals for “Replacing” the Affordable Care Act

President-elect Trump’s transition team has posted their top replacement ideas for the Affordable Care Act. But those ideas – allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, reinstating high risk pools, and expanding HSAs – are all tired retreads of old policies that have been proven failures. Sabrina Corlette takes a look. Continue reading

How Could a New Administration Tackle Affordable Care Act Challenges? Look to Medicare

The next President and Congress will likely need to consider policy options to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces. But the challenges in those markets are not unique – Medicare Advantage markets have faced similar turmoil. In this blog post for Health Affairs, Sabrina Corlette and Jack Hoadley review the Bush administration’s policy responses to market instability in Medicare – and the lessons those policies hold for the ACA. Continue reading

New Marketplace Research: Off-Marketplace Consumers and How Marketplace Enrollees Fare in Expansion and Nonexpansion States

Two new studies captured our attention recently. One, from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services examines enrollment in coverage inside and outside the health insurance marketplaces. The other, from Urban Institute researchers, examines different enrollment experiences between Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states. The Center for Children & Families’ Karina Wagnerman takes a closer look. Continue reading

New and Improved Navigator Resource Guide

There’s a national election approaching but it isn’t for President. In just one week, consumers can vote for a new health plan on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. To help them through that process, CHIR is proud to re-launch the Navigator Resource Guide, a searchable, online resource for close to 300 frequently asked questions about private health insurance and the marketplaces. Continue reading

Enrollees Aren’t Abusing Marketplace Grace Period

Insurers and other critics have called on the Obama Administration to shorten the 3-month grace period for paying overdue health plan premiums, asserting that consumers are abusing it. But as documented by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Tara Straw, such concerns reflect a misunderstanding of how grace periods work and are refuted by enrollment and disenrollment data. Continue reading