What’s New for 2020 Marketplace Enrollment?

On November 1, the seventh open enrollment period begins for marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We at CHIR are tracking several policy changes that could affect marketplace enrollment and plan affordability in 2020, including: changes to health reimbursement arrangements, new direct enrollment pathways, and recent court rulings on association health plans and the public charge rule. To learn what’s new for 2020, read our CHIRBlog summarizing the major policy changes consumers might encounter this year. Continue reading

As Maryland Charts a New Course for Lowering Barriers to Coverage, Feds Could Raise Them

Maryland is implementing a program that offers a new, easy way to enroll in comprehensive and affordable health insurance. At the same time, the federal government is considering ending auto renewal in the marketplaces, which facilitates millions of enrollments each year. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at Maryland’s new program, and how state and federal enrollment policy can impact consumers’ access to coverage. Continue reading

Swimming against the Tide: Policies in State-Based Marketplace States Help Counter Negative Trends in Uninsurance Rates

The latest U.S. Census data show the uninsured rate for nonelderly adults is rising,  including among middle- and higher-income people who do not qualify for Affordable Care Act premium subsidies. Such an increase is partly attributable to policies implemented by the Trump administration to undermine the ACA. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe explains that when it comes to individual market enrollment, however, national numbers mask significant differences in state-to-state performance. 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

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

Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: Can Insurers Ask About Your Health History?

With just one month left in the open enrollment period for most of the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, we’ve updated our Navigator Resource Guide to reflect all of the federal health policy changes that have occurred over the last year and have provided answers to hundreds of frequently asked questions (FAQs). In light of the recent wave of health care-related robocalls from scammers, our FAQ of the Week focuses on: Is an insurer allowed to ask me about my health history? Continue reading

Virginia’s Enrollment Season Perfect Storm

Across the country, states are yet again dealing with policy changes just before the fall open enrollment season. Virginia, however, is a special case. The state is dealing with simultaneous implementation of Medicaid expansion, expanded short-term limited duration insurance and association health plans, and changes to the definition of sole proprietors for small employers, all with less funding for the navigator program. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe breaks down how each change affects Virginians. Continue reading