At NAIC Spring National Meeting, the Future of the Affordable Care Act Was Front and Center

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners wrapped up its Spring National meeting, and the ACA was on the agenda – but it was definitely a moving target. That’s because the meeting agenda was set before the House of Representatives pulled a bill to repeal and replace the ACA. As a result, the planned discussion over the AHCA had to be adjusted to encompass a broader look at potential administrative, legislative, and market factors that could affect the ACA’s future. CHIR’s JoAnn Volk shares some highlights from the meeting. Continue reading

What’s Going on in Tennessee? One Possible Reason for Its Affordable Care Act Challenges

Recently the Governor of Tennessee observed that his state was “ground zero” for insurers pulling out of the ACA marketplaces. In the wake of Humana’s decision to withdraw from the marketplaces for 2018, the residents of 16 counties in that state face the prospect of no insurance company at all from which to buy a subsidized health plan. Tennessee is not alone in having a fragile ACA marketplace, but its situation is particularly acute, especially if no other insurer can be persuaded to operate in those counties. Why is Tennessee’s market struggling, when other states with similar demographics, such as Arkansas, have more competition and market stability? Continue reading

Selling Health Insurance Across State Lines Doesn’t Lower Costs for Consumers

In the wake of the failure of the legislative effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the fate of the President’s proposal to authorize the sale of insurance “across state lines” is unclear. In their latest article for the Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia examine different potential approaches to promoting cross-state sale of insurance and what they mean for states and consumers. Continue reading

Proposed Trump Administration Rule Shortens Open Enrollment: Policy Goals, Potential Impact, and State Options

In February, the Trump administration proposed a number of rules that they hope will stabilize the individual market. One of these rules would cut this year’s open enrollment period from 90 days to 45 days. While HHS argues that the shorter timeframe could streamline the enrollment process and improve the risk pool, other health care stakeholders have expressed concern that a shortened OE might dampen enrollment and overwhelm state-based marketplaces. With the final rule expected any day, what are the possible impacts of shortening the annual enrollment period? CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look. Continue reading

Loss of Cost-Sharing Reductions in the ACA Marketplace: Impact on Consumers and Insurer Participation

In an updated article published on The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point site, CHIR experts JoAnn Volk, Dania Palanker, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia examine the possibility that the Trump administration will pull the plug on the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and discuss the potential consequences for individual health insurance markets and the consumers who rely on it. Continue reading

Proposed Pre-Verification Process for Special Enrollment Periods: Policy Goals, Potential Impact, and the need for State Flexibility

In the wake of failed congressional attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, we turn back our focus on the administration and its approach to the marketplaces. The proposed market stabilization rule would require a pre-verification process for special enrollment periods for all marketplaces, including states operating their own. This move is largely in response to insurer concerns, indicating an interest in working with participating marketplace insurers. But how does this fare with states that have their own special enrollment processes? CHIR’s Sandy Ahn takes a look. Continue reading

Fix it, Don’t End it: Common Sense Prescriptions for Individual Market Stability

For the time being, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the “law of the land.” But increasing uncertainty about the policy future has left the individual insurance market at risk and could result in fewer choices and higher premiums, In the past, Congress has demonstrated that it can arrive at bipartisan solutions to tackle insurance market challenges and help consumers. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette outlines what a common sense ACA reform package could look like. Continue reading

House Proposal to Promote Association Health Plans Poses Risks for Insurance Markets, Consumers

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to promote federally certified association health plans (AHPs) on March 22, 2017. Widely seen as a “second phase” of Affordable Care Act repeal, the AHP proposal poses significant risks for small employers and would hinder states’ ability to protect their consumers. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette take a look at the bill and what it would mean for the small business health insurance market. Continue reading