2017 Federal and State Marketplace Trends Show Value of Outreach

The fourth open enrollment period ended in early 2017, with dwindling momentum behind enrollment efforts at the federal level following the presidential election. In a new publication for the Commonwealth Fund, Emily Curran, Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia and Justin Giovannelli provide an overview of potential factors influencing enrollment changes in the state-based marketplaces, including increased efforts that may have had a positive effect on final selections. Continue reading

Alexander-Corker Bill Would Likely Reduce, Not Expand, Consumers’ Health Insurance Options

Humana’s decision to pull out of the individual market in 2018 has prompted more concern over areas facing a dearth of marketplace plans next year, or “bare” counties. Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker recently introduced a bill that would waive the individual mandate for residents of bare counties, and allow them to receive federal premium tax credits to purchase plans outside of the marketplace. Sarah Lueck of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shares a new analysis of the bill and its potential impact on insurers and consumers. Continue reading

Court Dismisses Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Risk Corridor Lawsuit—What About the Other Risk Cases?

On April 18, the United States Court of Federal Claims dismissed Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s risk corridor lawsuit, ruling that the insurer’s claim was premature. CHIR’s Emily Curran delves into this and other lawsuits filed by health insurers across the country, all of whom seek to recoup critical premium stabilization funding from the federal government. Continue reading

New Report Emphasizes States’ Power to Protect Consumers and Ensure Stable Markets in the Midst of Federal Uncertainty

In the past few months, Congress and the Trump Administration have floated a number of proposals and three-pronged plans, many of which put states in the hot seat of implementing and overseeing major changes to the health care system. In a new report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Consumer Representatives outline the potential impact of federal proposals, and how state Departments of Insurance can protect consumers and promote market stability through their role as regulators and advisors to state and federal policymakers. Continue reading

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