New Health Affairs Policy Brief Examines the Regulation of Health Plan Provider Networks

Limited networks have become increasingly common on ACA marketplaces, comprising almost half of all offerings during the first two years of the exchanges. In a new policy brief for Health Affairs, CHIR experts Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette examine what the states and the federal government are doing to ensure that marketplace plan networks are adequate and transparent. Continue reading

Factors Affecting Health Insurance Enrollment Through the State Marketplaces: Observations on the ACA’s Third Open Enrollment Period

Despite declining funding, enrollment through the state-based marketplaces increased nearly nine percent during the third open enrollment period. To learn what assistance and outreach strategies were most effective in attracting consumers, we surveyed marketplace officials to gain their unique insights and share major findings in our latest report. Continue reading

State Legislators Conduct Post-Mortem on Affordable Care Act CO-OPs and Plot Next Steps

State insurance legislators held their national meeting in Portland, Oregon last week, and the demise of 16 health insurance CO-OPs created under the Affordable Care Act was high on the agenda. CHIR’s own Sabrina Corlette was invited to provide legislators with testimony about the CO-OP program’s troubles. Key takeaways from the meeting – and next steps for state policymakers – are provided here. Continue reading

Beyond UnitedHealthcare: How Are Other Publicly Traded Insurers Faring on the Marketplaces?

Two-and-one-half years in, how do we assess the success and stability of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces? Much ink has been spilled over the high-profile exit of UnitedHealthcare, but to gain a broader perspective, CHIR experts examined the first quarter earnings calls and regulatory filings for some of the largest, publicly traded insurers that participate in the marketplaces. Their latest article for the Commonwealth Fund shares what they learned. Continue reading

15 States and DC Now Prohibit Transgender Insurance Exclusions

Three years ago, only 3 states and DC prohibited insurance companies from excluding care for transgendered individuals from health plans. Today, that number has grown to 15 states, signalling that state policymakers are increasingly recognizing that transgender policy exclusions fly in the face of medical evidence and laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. Our former CHIR colleague, Katie Keith, shares findings from an assessment of state actions and their impacts. Continue reading

States Innovation Waivers under the ACA: A Closer Look at the Updated Federal Guidance and State Proposals

Beginning in 2017, states can pursue “innovation waivers” under section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act. These waivers allow states to pursue broad alternatives or targeted fixes to the ACA. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR researchers Kevin Lucia, Justin Giovannelli, Sean Miskell and Ashley Williams examine the waiver applications that have been submitted so far, as well as activity in states considering a waiver. Continue reading

2016 Insurer Participation Remains Stable in State-Based Marketplaces

In the wake of the high-profile closures and departures of some health plans from the individual market, a close analysis of plan participation in the state-based marketplaces demonstrates that consumer choices remain relatively stable. In CHIR’s latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, Emily Curran, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia assess insurers’ participation in the state-run marketplaces and the policy levers in place to help foster competition. Continue reading

Federal and State Policymakers Work to Ensure Continuity of Health Care for Consumers

Federal health insurance officials and the NAIC have recently put forward proposals to protect patients when a doctor or hospital leaves their health plan’s network. Both are grounded in longstanding state standards, although the scope and strength of these laws vary widely. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund, Sabrina Corlette, Ashley Williams and Kevin Lucia share findings from a 50-state survey of continuity of care laws and assess how they compare to the federal proposal. Continue reading