The MEWA Files: Lifting the Curtain on DOL’s Investigation into AHPs and Other Fraudulent Health Plans

CHIR is releasing several thousand pages of Department of Labor (DOL) investigative records regarding Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs), including Association Health Plans (AHPs), which it received through a 2018 Freedom of Information Act request. CHIR alumna Christine Monahan takes us through what is in these files and how you can access them yourself. Continue reading

Seeing Fraud and Misleading Marketing, States Warn Consumers About Alternative Health Insurance Products

States are warning consumers of fraud and about the inadequate nature of some insurance products being sold that masquerade as health coverage. Over the last year, we identified alerts or press releases issued by 15 states warning consumers to be on their guard against deceptive marketing pitches for these products. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR experts spoke with regulators in five of these states to better understand what was behind these warnings and get insight into potential pitfalls for consumers. Continue reading

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

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

Affordable Care Act Back in the Spotlight: Build on its Progress or Scrap it Entirely?

It is hard to find a starker example of the different approaches our two political parties take to health care than the events of March 26, 2019. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette breaks down the Trump administration’s push to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional and a comprehensive bill to expand coverage and improve affordability, introduced just hours later by leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. Continue reading

House Hearings Shed Light on a Key Policy Priority: Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions

After becoming a rallying cry in the midterm elections, pre-existing condition protections have taken center stage on Capitol Hill: in January and February, the House of Representatives held three hearings about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, before the Ways & Means Committee, the Education & Labor Committee, and the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee. As the ACA faces legal challenges in federal court, these proceedings set the scene for how this policy debate will play out in Congress and offer insight into potential legislative action. Continue reading

Short-Term Health Plans Sold Through Out-of-State Associations Threaten Consumer Protections

The expansion of short-term policies has raised concerns that they may be deceptively marketed, with some sellers leading consumers to believe they are buying a comprehensive policy when they are not. While twenty-four states have sought to regulate short-term plans, their efforts may be undermined by a loophole that allows the policies to be sold through out-of-state associations – a practice we found to be quite common. Continue reading

It’s All About the Rating: Touted “Benefits” of Association Health Plans Ignore Key Facts

A recent Washington Post article touted the emergence of association health plans under recent Trump administration rules, noting their lower cost and generous benefits. But the truth is more complicated, as CHIR experts Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette point out, noting that AHPs often rely on medical underwriting and low “teaser” rates to lure new members. As a result, history is littered with insolvencies and even fraud connected to these arrangements. Continue reading