State-Based Marketplaces Push Ahead, Despite Federal Resistance

Open enrollment for 2018 started last week on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. Along with its executive actions designed to weaken marketplaces operations, the Trump administration has taken a number of steps over the past year to curb marketplace enrollment. While the administration has scaled back efforts to provide health coverage, state-based marketplaces have taken a different approach. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR’s Emily Curran and Justin Giovannelli share their findings from interviews with executives at 15 of the 17 states that operate their own marketplaces. Continue reading

States Step Up to Protect Consumers in Wake of Cuts to ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

In the wake of President Trump’s decision to cut off payments for a key ACA subsidy for low-income enrollees, the impact felt by consumers and insurers will vary from state to state, depending on the actions of insurance regulators and insurance companies. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia, and Maanasa Kona share findings from their 50-state review of insurers’ responses to the loss of cost-sharing reduction payments for 2018. Continue reading

New Executive Order: Expanding Access to Short-Term Health Plans Is Bad for Consumers and the Individual Market

President Trump signed a “very major” executive order related to health care that is “going to cover a lot of territory.” The executive order takes steps to roll back a consumer protection related to short-term health plans. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Dania Palanker, Kevin Lucia, and Emily Curran assess the proposed regulatory changes and their impact on consumers and insurance markets. Continue reading

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