New Reinsurance Toolkit for State Advocates

Last month, North Dakota enacted legislation to establish a state reinsurance program, and a number states are considering similar bills. To help state consumer advocates engage with state officials on reinsurance and other health insurance reform issues, Community Catalyst, with support from CHIR experts, launched a new website that will house a health insurance reform toolkit for advocates. First up: The Advocate’s Guide to Reinsurance. Continue reading

ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment Numbers Reveal the Impact of State-Level Policy and Operational Choices on Performance

During the last open enrollment period, the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces faced a number of headwinds, including federal policy changes predicted to curb enrollment. Given myriad obstacles to enrollment efforts, it came as no surprise that overall marketplace plan selections dropped slightly this year. But a deeper dive into enrollment trends reveals that most state-based marketplaces outperformed the federally facilitated marketplace. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab and Sabrina Corlette unpack data from the recent open enrollment period to see how the marketplaces performed during a turbulent time, finding that certain policy and operational decisions were associated with better results. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’s Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. Part 3: Consumer Advocates

On April 18, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized changes to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and insurance rules in the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2020 plan year. To gauge stakeholder reactions, CHIR reviewed a sample of these comments. In the third and final of our blog series, CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe summarizes responses from a selection of consumer advocates. Continue reading

Proposed Rule on Basic Health Program Impedes States’ Progress

Recently, CMS issued a proposed rule modifying the federal funding methodology for the Basic Health Program (BHP) for 2019 and 2020. Under the proposal, technical changes could cause participating states to lose $300 million in federal funding. While funding for the programs is being debated, we checked in on how Minnesota and New York’s BHPs are faring amidst federal uncertainty. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’s Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. Part 2: State Insurance Departments and Marketplaces

On April 18, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized changes to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and insurance rules in the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2020 plan year. The agency received over 26,000 comments on the proposal. To gauge stakeholder reactions, CHIR reviewed a sample of these comments. In the second part of our blog series, Rachel Schwab summarizes responses from a selection of state insurance departments and state-based marketplaces. Continue reading

New Study: Consumers Don’t Understand That Short-term Plans Lack Protections, Benefits

A study commissioned by consumer representatives to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) finds that consumers face significant challenges understanding the limitations of short-term health plans. These plans, championed by the Trump administration as a cheap alternative to ACA coverage, can leave consumers facing significant out-of-pocket costs if they have an unexpected medical event. Continue reading

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