Affordable Care Act Reforms Not Fully Realized for Small Businesses: New Study Documents a Market in Transition

A new report published by the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation uncovers trends in the market for small business health insurance that could have long-term implications for small employers who offer health coverage to recruit and retain employees and promote a healthy workforce. The authors, Georgetown CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Jack Hoadley, Dania Palanker and Kevin Lucia summarize some of their findings here. Continue reading

No Rest for the Weary: Unexpected Defeat of ACA Repeal Effort Doesn’t Mean End of Threats to Law

In the wake of the surprise defeat of the effort to repeal the ACA, President Trump called for letting the law “implode.” In fact, the executive branch has considerable power to undermine and roll back key elements of the ACA, without congressional involvement. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette reviews potential administrative actions that could de-stabilize the marketplaces, and reduce the dramatic coverage gains experienced under the law. Continue reading

Important Gains under the ACA for Cancer Patients And Their Families

While there may be a respite from the push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new report by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, authored by CHIR’s JoAnn Volk and Sandy Ahn, exposes what’s at stake in the debate for cancer patients and their families. The report finds that the ACA improved access to coverage and provides significant financial protections. The report is based on more than a dozen interviews with hospital-based Financial Navigators, who work closely with cancer patients throughout their treatment and provide critical insight into the coverage experience of cancer patients. Continue reading

“Small Business Health Plans”: Undermining States’ Authority and a Recipe for Fewer Plan Choices and Higher Premiums

The U.S. Senate stands poised to debate a bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, that would not only repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but would also fundamentally alter the state-federal framework for insurance regulation. A key provision would create federally certified small business health plans that are exempt from most state laws. In their latest article for The Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette examine the impact of this provision on small businesses and states’ historic authority to protect consumers and manage their insurance markets. Continue reading

A Head Scratcher of a Bill: Revised Senate Health Care Legislation Likely to Undermine Pre-existing Condition Protections, Upend Insurance Markets

Policymakers promised to replace the Affordable Care Act with something that would cover “everybody,” with lower premiums and deductibles and continued protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Sabrina Corlette reviews the pending Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act to see if it lives up to the promises. Continue reading

Have Employer Coverage? GOP Proposals Will Affect You Too (Part 2)

Much of the focus of the debate over repealing and replacing the ACA has been on the individual insurance market. But over 150 million people get coverage through their employer, and bills pending in the House and Senate will affect them, too. In a post originally published on the Health Affairs’ Blog, CHIR’s JoAnn Volk and Sabrina Corlette explain what’s preserved, and what’s at risk, for people in job-based plans. Continue reading

State Efforts to Lower Cost-Sharing Barriers to Health Care for the Privately Insured

Current federal proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act are likely to result in higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Six states and D.C., however, have policies to lower cost-sharing barriers to important health care services and drugs for the privately insured. In a new research brief, CHIR researchers take a closer look at some of these states’ experiences developing and implementing these policies. Continue reading