To Understand How Consumers Are Faring in the Individual Health Insurance Markets, Watch the States

Through both inaction and design, federal policymakers have put the onus on states to ensure access to affordable, adequate health insurance. In a new work for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR researchers are launching an interactive map that will track and describe state actions likely to affect residents’ access to individual market coverage. Continue reading

State Efforts to Pass Individual Mandate Requirements Aim to Stabilize Markets and Protect Consumers

A handful of states are moving forward with plans to implement state-level individual health insurance mandates in light of Congress’s recent elimination of the federal mandate’s financial penalty. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts Dania Palanker, Rachel Scwab and Justin Giovannelli analyze new sate individual mandate laws and highlight innovative models that were considered in states. Continue reading

Proposed Federal Changes to Short-Term Health Coverage Leave Regulation to States

The Trump administration is expected to reverse federal limitations on short-term insurance, which does not have to comply with Affordable Care Act rules like preexisting condition protections. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Dania Palanker, Kevin Lucia, Sabrina Corlette, and Maanasa Kona examine how ten states currently regulate the short-term insurance market. Continue reading

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