The Next Round of Obamacare Regulations are Coming Soon: What Consumer Advocates Want to See

With the annual rule on marketplace operations and health plans expected this fall, we take a look at how consumer advocates responded to the Trump administration’s request earlier this summer on how it could reduce the regulatory burdens of the Affordable Care Act in the last of our three-part series. These comments, along with comments from insurers and state officials, may be used to inform future rulemaking, including the rule expected this fall.
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Lots of Changes for 2018 Marketplace Enrollment Mean Confusion for Consumers

Open enrollment will be here sooner than we know it. But this year’s open enrollment, will be quite different from previous years due to numerous policy changes and proposed budget cuts to marketplace consumer outreach, assistance, and enrollment system under the Trump administration. These changes will make it much more confusing for consumers and place much more of a burden on the assisters that help them. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn summarizes some of the change in store for 2018 open enrollment. Continue reading

Kaiser Family Foundation Survey on Assister Programs Reflects Signs of Progress – and Opportunities for Improvement

Assister programs and brokers play an integral role of navigating consumers through the marketplace enrollment process. Kaiser Family Foundation’s recent survey of these stakeholders indicates these programs will continue to be needed given the knowledge gaps that still exist among consumers and the high proportion of consumers who seek help with renewal. Current legal intern and guest blogger, Emma Chapman (Georgetown JD/MPP, expected 2018), summarizes the main findings of the survey. Continue reading

Understanding Consumers’ Experience with Health Insurance: New California Report on Complaints Provides Insights

Earlier this month, the California Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA) released its first annual report cataloguing consumer complaints and inquiries about their health plans across four California state health agencies. The report examines 27,028 consumer complaints that were closed in 2014. CHIR’s Hannah Ellison explores highlights of the report and discusses its potential for impact. Continue reading

New Rules on Special Enrollment Periods: What Do They Mean for Consumers and the Assisters Who Help Them?

What triggers a special enrollment period to allow someone to enroll on the individual market outside of open enrollment has been a hot debated topic of late. Recently the administration issued a new rule tightening what life events trigger a special enrollment period. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn summarizes the new rule and what it means for consumers and the assisters that help them. Continue reading

Open Enrollment Begins, Kinks in the Cost Calculator Tool on Healthcare.gov and Other OE News

Open Enrollment 3 (OE3) is now underway and by all accounts, things are going smoothly. There are a few minor kinks with the out-of-pocket cost calculator, which officials have fixed or are working on fixing now. CHIR highlights two consumer facing tools that healthcare.gov is pilot testing and should be available to all users before the end of open enrollment. Continue reading