Unpacking The No Surprises Act: An Opportunity To Protect Millions

Congress included the No Surprises Act in the omnibus spending bill that was passed and signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020. The bill protects patients from unexpected bills for out-of-network emergency and other services consumers are unable to agree to in advance. Georgetown experts Jack Hoadley, Katie Keith, and Kevin Lucia unpack the legislation in a blog post for Health Affairs. Continue reading

2020 – It’s a Wrap. CHIR Takes Stock of a Tumultuous, but Busy Year

We at Georgetown CHIR look back at this tumultuous, tragic, and eventful year and are thankful we have the opportunity to do the work we do. When the world went on lock down in early March, our team quickly pivoted to researching and writing about the government response to COVID-19 and its impact on health care coverage. We also wrote about surprise balance billing, junk insurance, and trends in provider-payer dynamics We share some of the highlights from our work here. Continue reading

Stable Rates Reflect Strength of ACA Marketplaces

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many predicted that insurers would need to dramatically hike their premiums. As it turned out, the opposite occurred, with average rates declining for 2021. In an Expert Perspective post for the State Health & Value Strategies program, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Manatt Health’s Joel Ario examine the factors that led to a stable year for ACA insurance rates. Continue reading

COVID-19 and MLR Guidance on Risk Corridor Recoveries: State Options for Restoring Funds to Policyholders and the Public

The Supreme Court has required the federal government to reimburse health insurers for an estimated $12.3 billion in unpaid risk corridor funds and the Trump administration recently published guidance to insurers that affects the amount to be returned to policyholders. In an Expert Perspective for the State Health & Value Strategies program, Sabrina Corlette and Jason Levitis consider the effects of this guidance and state options for redirecting insurers’ extra cash to benefit policyholders and the public. Continue reading

Ensuring Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine for Enrollees in Private Health Insurance: A Roadmap for States

States and the federal government are preparing for the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine. But just as important as distributing and administering the vaccine is figuring out how to pay for it. In her latest “expert perspective” for the State Health & Value Strategies program, Sabrina Corlette discusses recent federal efforts to ensure that private health plans cover the full costs of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as options for states to close potential gaps in coverage. Continue reading

Imposing The Costs Of Workplace Coronavirus Testing On Group Plan Coverage Would Place An Excessive Burden On Essential Workers

To re-open safely, many employers will need to rely on regular testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. But doing so is expensive, and some have called for it to be financed by employers’ health benefit plans. In a new post for the Health Affairs blog, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette joins the Urban Institute’s Linda Blumberg and Michael Simpson in a look at the data. They find that relying on group plan coverage alone would place an excessive burden on workers. Continue reading