New Georgetown Issue Brief: 50-state Survey of State Action to Protect Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills

Balance billing occurs when a consumer who is treated by an out-of-network provider is subsequently billed by that provider for the difference between what their health plan paid and what the provider charges. In their latest issue brief published by the Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia, Jack Hoadley, and Ashley Williams analyzed laws in all fifty states and the District of Columbia to understand the current scope of state laws that protect consumers from balance billing. Continue reading

Running Down the Clock: Policy Uncertainty over Affordable Care Act Means Less Time for Oversight of Premium Hikes

Insurers are required to submit their health plans and premium rates for regulatory review in the face of considerable uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund, Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia examine the sources of this uncertainty, how it affects insurers’ ability to plan for the coming year, and what it means for state and federal regulators who must assess the reasonableness of proposed premium hikes. Continue reading

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

Loss of Cost-Sharing Reductions in the ACA Marketplace: Impact on Consumers and Insurer Participation

In an updated article published on The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point site, CHIR experts JoAnn Volk, Dania Palanker, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia examine the possibility that the Trump administration will pull the plug on the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and discuss the potential consequences for individual health insurance markets and the consumers who rely on it. Continue reading

House Proposal to Promote Association Health Plans Poses Risks for Insurance Markets, Consumers

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to promote federally certified association health plans (AHPs) on March 22, 2017. Widely seen as a “second phase” of Affordable Care Act repeal, the AHP proposal poses significant risks for small employers and would hinder states’ ability to protect their consumers. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette take a look at the bill and what it would mean for the small business health insurance market. Continue reading

State Experiences Show Why Repealing the ACA’s Premium Subsidies and Individual Mandate Would Cripple Individual Health Insurance Markets

What will happen if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement? In their latest article for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia find that it could look a lot like the regulatory landscape that existed in several states that tried to enact health reform in the past. The lessons from those experiences are grim. Continue reading

States That Leaned In on the Affordable Care Act Have Much to Lose

In the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s passage, 17 states embraced the chance to set up and manage their own marketplace and design an insurance market to meet local needs. In their latest article for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Emily Curran and Kevin Lucia review these states’ progress on expanding coverage and stabilizing their markets and find that they have much to lose if the law is repealed. Continue reading

A “Volatile Marketplace”: Second Quarter Earnings Calls Offer Glimpse of How Insurers Are Faring on ACA Marketplaces—and What 2017 Might Bring

In a turbulent year for the Affordable Care Act, health insurers’ second-quarter earnings calls and financial filings can offer a glimpse of how they are faring on the ACA marketplaces and strategies for 2017. In their latest publication for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia and Emily Curran share key takeaways from these key insurance industry financial reports. Continue reading

State-Run SHOPs: An Update Three Years Post ACA Implementation

Small-business owners face unique challenges covering their employees; to lower barriers and increase options, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). In a new blog published by The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Emily Curran, Sabrina Corlette, and Kevin Lucia evaluate the current state of these marketplaces three years into implementation. Continue reading