New Health Affairs Policy Brief Examines the Regulation of Health Plan Provider Networks

Limited networks have become increasingly common on ACA marketplaces, comprising almost half of all offerings during the first two years of the exchanges. In a new policy brief for Health Affairs, CHIR experts Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette examine what the states and the federal government are doing to ensure that marketplace plan networks are adequate and transparent. Continue reading

Improving Marketplace Coverage for Children

What does coverage look like for children on the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces? A new report from Georgetown experts Kelly Whitener, JoAnn Volk, Sean Miskell and Joan Alker examines at the adequacy of coverage, affordability of coverage, and access to providers. This blog post provides some of their topline findings. Continue reading

Beyond UnitedHealthcare: How Are Other Publicly Traded Insurers Faring on the Marketplaces?

Two-and-one-half years in, how do we assess the success and stability of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces? Much ink has been spilled over the high-profile exit of UnitedHealthcare, but to gain a broader perspective, CHIR experts examined the first quarter earnings calls and regulatory filings for some of the largest, publicly traded insurers that participate in the marketplaces. Their latest article for the Commonwealth Fund shares what they learned. Continue reading

2016 Insurer Participation Remains Stable in State-Based Marketplaces

In the wake of the high-profile closures and departures of some health plans from the individual market, a close analysis of plan participation in the state-based marketplaces demonstrates that consumer choices remain relatively stable. In CHIR’s latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, Emily Curran, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia assess insurers’ participation in the state-run marketplaces and the policy levers in place to help foster competition. Continue reading

States Revisit Essential Health Benefit Requirements, but Have Little Data on Consumers’ Experiences

Federal Affordable Care Act rules require the states to revisit the standard scope of benefits for individual and small business health plans – called essential health benefits or EHB – and determine whether revisions are needed. In a new blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts examine how the states approached this task, and what it might mean for consumers. Continue reading

The Experiences of State-Run Insurance Marketplaces That Use HealthCare.gov

Whether their exchange is state-based or federally facilitated, many state policymakers are seeking ways to realize the advantages of a state-run marketplace model while minimizing, so far as possible, the financial and operational burdens of building or maintaining one. In a new issue brief for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR researchers explore the experiences of four states that established their own exchanges but have operated them with support from the federal HealthCare.gov eligibility and enrollment platform. Continue reading

Why ACA Marketplaces Should Report Comprehensive Enrollment Data

The Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance marketplaces could be critical sources of data about how people access and use coverage. Yet, to date, the marketplaces have released varying degrees of information, with little uniformity or consensus over what data should be collected and how. In our latest post for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR researchers Sean Miskell, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia examine data collection and reporting by the health insurance marketplaces. Continue reading

Proposed Premium Rate Increases for 2016: The Jury Is Still Out

There’s been some hand-wringing over large proposed premium increases for health plans in 2016. But it’s important to remember that rate requests vary – a lot – by insurer and location. And that these rates are only proposed. They’re subject to regulatory scrutiny, and many proposed hikes may be reduced. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sean Miskell and Dave Cusano discuss the drivers of 2016 premiums and states’ role in keeping coverage affordable. Continue reading