New Resource on Enrollment Now Available

As we draw nearer to the start of Open Enrollment 3, a new resource is available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the FFM and FF-SHOP Enrollment Manual. A complete guide of policy and operational information, the new Manual covers all topics related to eligibility and enrollment in the FFM and FF-SHOP. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn provides a quick summary of the new CMS resource. Continue reading

Balance Billing for Air Ambulance Remains a Problem in Maryland

Although Maryland is among the handful of states that regulate balance billing for out-of-network situations, as we discuss in a previous report, the state’s law does not address air ambulance charges. Balance billing for air ambulances remain a problem in Maryland and its insurance department held a public meeting last Friday to discuss the issue. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn provides highlights of the meeting and other state efforts to address this consumer problem. Continue reading

New Online Resource Provides Answers to Common Health Insurance and Marketplace Questions

This week, CHIR is releasing an online version of the Navigator Resource Guide, with close to 300 searchable FAQs and easy-to-read background information on key health insurance and marketplace issues. Although designed with the needs of Navigators in mind, the Guide is a hands-on, practical resource for anyone who needs to communicate with consumers about the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading

Georgetown Navigator Technical Assistance Project: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Future Enrollment

Georgetown University experts from the Center on Health Insurance Reforms and the Center for Children and Families released this week a report documenting the experiences over the past year working with Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, and others working to enroll consumers in the health insurance marketplaces. JoAnn Volk, Sandy Ahn, Sabrina Corlette and Tricia Brooks share lessons learned and recommendations for future enrollments in a comprehensive report and two video clips. Continue reading

Taking Stock and Taking Steps to Improve Consumer Assistance

A new report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation chronicles the challenges, innovations and lessons learned about the needs of consumers for assistance in accessing and using health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act. Our partner in our Navigator technical assistance project, the Georgetown Center for Children and Families’ Tricia Brooks, has this overview. Continue reading

State Restrictions on Health Reform Assisters May Violate Federal Law

Regulations issued last month by the Department of Health and Human Services show that laws in more than a dozen states may be invalid because they go too far in restricting the work of consumer assistance personnel certified under the Affordable Care Act. In a blog post published by The Commonwealth Fund, Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette discuss these new rules and how they affect state efforts to regulate consumer assisters. Continue reading

Federal Court Ruling Casts Doubt on State Power to Restrict Health Reform Navigators

In January, a federal court in Missouri became the first to rule on whether states have the legal authority to restrict the work of the Affordable Care Act’s consumer assistance “navigators.” In a new post for The Commonwealth Fund, Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette discuss the decision and explore its significance for Missouri and the other states that have adopted restrictions on navigators and consumer assisters. Continue reading

New Resource for Assisters Covers Private Insurance and Marketplace Plans

Almost two months into open enrollment, Navigators and other consumer assisters must field a multitude of questions about plan options inside the marketplace and out, how individual and employer-sponsored coverage may change as a result of the ACA, and whether consumers have the coverage they need to satisfy the individual mandate. Today, CHIR released a Navigator Resource Guide that helps Navigators explain key insurance and marketplace concepts and accurately answer a wide range of questions. Continue reading