State Options Blog Series: Federal Regulators Relax ACA Health Plan Oversight, Creating Opportunities and Challenges for States

In the second of a multi-part blog series on state options in the wake of federal actions to roll back or relax Affordable Care Act regulation, Sabrina Corlette reviews the new approach to health plan management in the federally run marketplaces. She discusses the implications for consumers and what state insurance regulators may need in order to enhance health plan oversight. Continue reading

Recent and Potential Regulatory Actions to Roll Back the ACA: State Options Blog Series

While members of Congress debate possible bipartisan actions on the ACA, the future sustainability of the ACA’s consumer protections and markets also depend on regulatory and administrative actions. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette reviews a series of recent actions by HHS to recast the federal approach to health plan oversight and tees up an upcoming series of CHIRblog posts outlining options for states that want to retain some or all of the reforms adopted by the ACA. Continue reading

Down to the Wire: Indecision on ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Creates Confusion for States

The Trump administration’s indecision over whether to reimburse insurance companies for Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction plans has created considerable confusion and complexity for insurers and the state departments of insurance that regulate them. In their latest blog post for The Commonwealth Fund, Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia review the directives that state insurance regulators have provided to their health insurers, and how those directives will likely affect consumers, insurers, and federal taxpayers. Continue reading

Future of Health Reform: A prescription for individual market stability

As policy uncertainty in Washington, DC roils health insurance markets nationwide, states like Minnesota are stepping up to preserve consumer coverage choices and keep premiums affordable. In a conference at the University of Minnesota School of Public Affairs sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette joined in a wide-ranging discussion with state leaders over the future of the ACA. BCBSM’s Laura Kaslow shares some takeaways from the event. Continue reading

Lots of Questions but Few Answers: NAIC’s 2017 Summer Meeting

State insurance regulators met for the NAIC’s annual summer meeting in Philadelphia last week amidst continued uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act. CHIR’s JoAnn Volk was there to observe the action and report out on how states are working to protect consumers and keep their insurance markets stable in spite of many unanswered questions from federal officials. Continue reading

Short-Term Health Plans: Still Bad for Consumers and the Individual Market

Some state and federal policymakers are urging HHS to relax Obama-era rules for short-term limited duration health plans, arguing they provide a cheaper alternative to ACA-compliant coverage. But a close examination of these plans reveals significant risks for consumers and the ACA marketplaces as a whole. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts Dania Palanker, Kevin Lucia, and Emily Curran share the results of a deep dive into what’s covered – and what’s not – in short-term plans. Continue reading

Relaxing the ACA’s Regulations: Stakeholders Respond to HHS’ Request for Information: Part 1—Insurers

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asked this spring for public comments on potential changes to the Affordable Care Act. They received over 3,270 comments from a wide range of stakeholders. To better understand concerns related to the law, CHIR experts pulled a sample of comments from health insurers, state regulators, and consumer advocates. In Part 1 of this three-part series, Emily Curran reviews the recommendations of large and small insurers. Continue reading

Affordable Care Act Reforms Not Fully Realized for Small Businesses: New Study Documents a Market in Transition

A new report published by the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation uncovers trends in the market for small business health insurance that could have long-term implications for small employers who offer health coverage to recruit and retain employees and promote a healthy workforce. The authors, Georgetown CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Jack Hoadley, Dania Palanker and Kevin Lucia summarize some of their findings here. Continue reading

No Rest for the Weary: Unexpected Defeat of ACA Repeal Effort Doesn’t Mean End of Threats to Law

In the wake of the surprise defeat of the effort to repeal the ACA, President Trump called for letting the law “implode.” In fact, the executive branch has considerable power to undermine and roll back key elements of the ACA, without congressional involvement. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette reviews potential administrative actions that could de-stabilize the marketplaces, and reduce the dramatic coverage gains experienced under the law. Continue reading