Rookie Report: How did New Jersey and Pennsylvania State Marketplaces Fare in Their Inaugural Enrollment Period?

After seven enrollment cycles on HealthCare.gov, New Jersey and Pennsylvania both launched new state marketplace websites in time for the latest Open Enrollment Period. Both states saw increases in marketplace enrollment over previous years. To understand how this transition went for Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents, and to extract potential lessons for the states that are transitioning to running their own marketplaces, we sought insight from people on the ground: consumer assisters. Continue reading

Affordable Care Act Navigators: Unexpected Success During 2018 Enrollment Season Shouldn’t Obscure Challenges Ahead

Heading into open enrollment for 2018 marketplace coverage, experts predicted far fewer people would sign up for coverage. Despite the obstacles working against a successful open enrollment, sign-ups came close to last year’s tally: federally facilitated marketplaces (FFMs) logged 8.8 million plan selections, including close to 2.5 million new consumers, by the close of open enrollment on December 15th, nearing the 9.2 million plan selection from the previous year in just half the time. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe and JoAnn Volk take a look at what explains the better-than-expected results. Continue reading

Enrolling in Health Insurance is Complicated. That’s Where Navigators Can Help.

With the close of Open Enrollment for federally run marketplaces last week, preliminary reports suggest this year’s total sign-ups will be fewer than prior years. The Administration also recently released data that calls into question the value of Navigators, noting that they accounted for less than 1 percent of customers who were signed up by federally funded navigator organizations in 2016. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe explains how these data fail to tell the whole story. Continue reading

Kaiser Family Foundation Survey on Assister Programs Reflects Signs of Progress – and Opportunities for Improvement

Assister programs and brokers play an integral role of navigating consumers through the marketplace enrollment process. Kaiser Family Foundation’s recent survey of these stakeholders indicates these programs will continue to be needed given the knowledge gaps that still exist among consumers and the high proportion of consumers who seek help with renewal. Current legal intern and guest blogger, Emma Chapman (Georgetown JD/MPP, expected 2018), summarizes the main findings of the survey. Continue reading

Updated Navigator Resource Guide

CHIR is pleased to release an updated online Navigator Guide on Private Health Insurance and Health Insurance Marketplaces with searchable frequently asked questions (FAQs) and easy-to-read background information on key health insurance and marketplace issues. With Open Enrollment just a few days away, get your Guide on! Continue reading

CMS Awards $67 Million to Assist Consumers with Accessing Coverage OE3 and Beyond

Last week the federal agency responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act awarded $67 million in grants to state and local organizations to serve as marketplace navigators. These groups will conduct outreach to consumers and help them enroll in affordable coverage options. Our colleague Tricia Brooks blogs about why navigators are so important and previews some critical future announcements. Continue reading

Our Heartfelt Thanks to Affordable Care Act Navigators and Assisters – and a New Resource

We’ve wrapped up the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment season and sign-ups exceeded expectations, in large part thanks to the hard work of navigators and assisters. As part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project, navigators in five states send us their toughest and most complicated cases. To help others facing similar issues, we’ve created a new compilation of our most frequently asked questions during open enrollment. The Georgetown technical assistance team shares it here. Continue reading