What Does the Latest Federal Court Decision Mean for Association Health Plans – and the States that Regulate Them?

On March 28, 2019, a federal district court invalidated the Trump administration’s rule encouraging the formation of association health plans that would be exempt from many Affordable Care Act protections. In her latest “Expert Perspective” for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health & Value Strategies project, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette provides an update on the court ruling and implications for state insurance departments. Continue reading

Affordable Care Act Back in the Spotlight: Build on its Progress or Scrap it Entirely?

It is hard to find a starker example of the different approaches our two political parties take to health care than the events of March 26, 2019. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette breaks down the Trump administration’s push to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional and a comprehensive bill to expand coverage and improve affordability, introduced just hours later by leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. Continue reading

What, if Anything, Do the Latest Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) Court Rulings Mean for 2020 Premiums?

The federal government could be on the hook for billions of dollars in reimbursement to insurance companies, if recent court decisions relating to the elimination of the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies are upheld. Sabrina Corlette, in her latest Expert Perspective for the State Health & Value Strategies project, reviews the status of the litigation and the implications for state oversight of insurers’ 2020 premium rates. Continue reading

Saying Goodbye to a Hero

Over the weekend we said goodbye to a dear friend. Rob Restuccia lost his 6-month battle against pancreatic cancer, but he never gave up the fight for health equity and justice. We pay tribute to his leadership, commitment and legacy. His life and work inspire us all. Continue reading

It’s All About the Rating: Touted “Benefits” of Association Health Plans Ignore Key Facts

A recent Washington Post article touted the emergence of association health plans under recent Trump administration rules, noting their lower cost and generous benefits. But the truth is more complicated, as CHIR experts Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette point out, noting that AHPs often rely on medical underwriting and low “teaser” rates to lure new members. As a result, history is littered with insolvencies and even fraud connected to these arrangements. Continue reading

Complacency Slows Aggressive Approaches to Health Care Cost Containment: A View from Three Markets

Consolidation among hospitals and physician practices is driving a steady rise in health care costs. Employers who purchase insurance and the payers that negotiate on their behalf have a limited set of tools available to counter providers’ demands, but they have also displayed a complacency that has allowed prices to rise with little resistance. In a post for the Health Affairs blog, Sabrina Corlette, Jack Hoadley, and Katie Keith share findings from a series of market-level case studies on responses to provider consolidation. Continue reading

Texas Court Ruling Throws Future of ACA’s Pre-existing Condition Protections, Coverage Gains into Doubt

A district court judge in Texas has issued a ruling that could throw close to one-fifth of the U.S. economy into chaos and upend health care for millions. While the case over the future of the Affordable Care Act wends its way through the courts, CHIR takes a moment to think about what the decision could mean for the consumers and families for whom the law has been a literal lifeline. Continue reading