Should States’ COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Mandates Be Extended Past the Current State of Emergency?

Many states acted to expand access to health care services as part of the fight against COVID-19, mandating that insurers cover and reduce consumers’ costs for COVID-19 and other health care services. Now that the public health emergency orders in many states are expiring, what, if any, of these insurance mandates should be retained? In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Madeline O’Brien assess states’ options. Continue reading

During the COVID-19 Crisis, State Health Insurance Marketplaces Are Working to Enroll the Uninsured

As the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown continue, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces are an important tool in covering the uninsured. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts Rachel Schwab, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia explore how state-based marketplaces have worked to enroll the uninsured during the COVID-19 crisis by creating new opportunities to sign up for coverage and launching outreach campaigns. Continue reading

States Don’t Know What’s Happening in their Short-term Health Plan Markets and That’s a Problem

In the midst of a global pandemic, consumers continue to be sold skimpy short-term plans that may not cover necessary testing and treatment. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, Dania Palanker and Christina Goe assess the ability of insurance regulators to understand the scope of the short-term plan market in their states and its impact on consumers’ ability to access and afford care. Continue reading

State-Based Marketplaces Find Value, Potential Opportunity for Growth in Small-Business Offering

Small businesses have historically struggled to provide coverage to their workers. The ACA sought to address these issues through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), creating marketplaces for small employers to offer coverage to their employees. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts take a look at ways that state-based marketplaces are investing in their SHOPs, and how some are seeing enrollment growth and savings for small businesses. Continue reading

What Are State Officials Doing to Make Private Health Insurance Work Better for Consumers During the Coronavirus Public Health Crisis?

Many people may hesitate to seek coronavirus testing and treatment because they face significant deductibles or other cost-sharing under their insurance policy. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia, and Madeline O’Brien take a look at how states are stepping up to require insurance companies to expand their coverage in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis. Continue reading

How States Are Using Independent Dispute Resolution to Resolve Out-of-Network Payments in Surprise Billing

As Congress and a number of states craft legislation to protect consumers from surprise out-of-network billing, a critical issue is resolving how insurers will pay out-of-network providers for their services. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Jack Hoadley and Maanasa Kona assess the experience of states that use an independent dispute resolution process to determine these payments. Continue reading

States Take Action on Health Care Sharing Ministries, But More Could Be Done to Protect Consumers

In the last year, state regulators have stepped up their scrutiny of health care sharing ministries to warn consumers of their limits. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s JoAnn Volk and Justin Giovannelli look at recent state action to protect consumers from the risks of health care sharing ministries and map out other options for states to step up their scrutiny of these arrangements. Continue reading