States Are Taking New Steps to Protect Consumers from Balance Billing, But Federal Action Is Necessary to Fill Gaps

This year has seen a flurry of state-level action to protect patients from surprise balance billing. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Jack Hoadley, Kevin Lucia and Maanasa Kona take a closer look at the latest set of state bills to tackle the issue. They find that lawmakers’ approaches to solving this problem are evolving. Continue reading

2019 Insurer Participation: A “Quieter” Year As Companies Maintain, Expand Their Presence

Since implementation of the Affordable Care Act, insurer participation in the ACA marketplaces has fluctuated. As states prepare to enter their annual rate review processes for 2020, CHIR’s Emily Curran and Justin Giovannelli interviewed officials in seven of the state-based marketplaces to understand their strategies for maintaining insurer participation in 2019 and ensuring marketplace competition in the future. Continue reading

Can States Fill the Gap if the Courts Overturn Preexisting-Condition Protections?

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hear arguments in litigation over the future of the Affordable Care Act the week of July 8, 2019. If the plaintiffs prevail, millions could lose insurance coverage and millions more will lose preexisting condition protections. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Emily Curran document state-level efforts to preserve the ACA’s insurance market reforms. Continue reading

The Administration Tried to Make It Easier for States to Waive ACA Rules: Will Any Take the Plunge?

Recent federal guidance made significant changes to the ACA’s section 1332 waiver program in order to give states greater leeway to sidestep ACA rules. But the move has triggered questions about whether the waiver options the Trump administration is touting are practical for states, or even legal. In a new work for The Commonwealth Fund, Justin Giovannelli and JoAnn Volk examine how states are approaching ACA waivers in the wake of the federal policy change. Continue reading

Direct Primary Care Arrangements Raise Questions for State Insurance Regulators

Over the past year, new health coverage products that are not subject to the consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act have hit the individual market. One type of limited health-insurance-like offering that was already available but is now gaining attention is a direct primary care arrangement. For Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, experts at CHIR took a closer look at state law to understand how states regulate these entities and highlight some of the concerns that state insurance regulators might want to consider going forward. Continue reading

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 Schwab 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