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

It’s Not Time to Give Away Consumer Protections for Cost-Sharing Reduction Reimbursements

In the wake of a White House decision to end reimbursements to insurers for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) plans, a bipartisan agreement has emerged in Congress to restore them. However, negotiators are coming under pressure to make additional changes that would increase the number of uninsured and roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions. CHIR’s Dania Palanker takes a look at what’s at stake and why it’s not worth compromising key Affordable Care Act protections in exchange for CSR payments. Continue reading

Down to the Wire: Indecision on ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Creates Confusion for States

The Trump administration’s indecision over whether to reimburse insurance companies for Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction plans has created considerable confusion and complexity for insurers and the state departments of insurance that regulate them. In their latest blog post for The Commonwealth Fund, Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia review the directives that state insurance regulators have provided to their health insurers, and how those directives will likely affect consumers, insurers, and federal taxpayers. Continue reading

Lots of Questions but Few Answers: NAIC’s 2017 Summer Meeting

State insurance regulators met for the NAIC’s annual summer meeting in Philadelphia last week amidst continued uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act. CHIR’s JoAnn Volk was there to observe the action and report out on how states are working to protect consumers and keep their insurance markets stable in spite of many unanswered questions from federal officials. Continue reading

Relaxing the ACA’s Regulations: Stakeholders Respond to HHS’ Request for Information: Part 1—Insurers

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asked this spring for public comments on potential changes to the Affordable Care Act. They received over 3,270 comments from a wide range of stakeholders. To better understand concerns related to the law, CHIR experts pulled a sample of comments from health insurers, state regulators, and consumer advocates. In Part 1 of this three-part series, Emily Curran reviews the recommendations of large and small insurers. Continue reading

Signs of Marketplace Stability May Be Undercut by Federal Policy Uncertainty

Recently, analysts have found evidence of marketplace stability after a number of insurers scaled back participation and increased premiums for 2017. Despite this progress, federal efforts to repeal and replace the ACA have sparked growing concerns about the marketplace’s sustainability. To understand how insurers are faring in the marketplaces amidst federal reform activity, CHIR experts reviewed the first quarter financial earnings of seven of the largest, publicly traded insurers. 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

At NAIC Spring National Meeting, the Future of the Affordable Care Act Was Front and Center

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners wrapped up its Spring National meeting, and the ACA was on the agenda – but it was definitely a moving target. That’s because the meeting agenda was set before the House of Representatives pulled a bill to repeal and replace the ACA. As a result, the planned discussion over the AHCA had to be adjusted to encompass a broader look at potential administrative, legislative, and market factors that could affect the ACA’s future. CHIR’s JoAnn Volk shares some highlights from the meeting. Continue reading

Loss of Cost-Sharing Reductions in the ACA Marketplace: Impact on Consumers and Insurer Participation

In an updated article published on The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point site, CHIR experts JoAnn Volk, Dania Palanker, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia examine the possibility that the Trump administration will pull the plug on the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and discuss the potential consequences for individual health insurance markets and the consumers who rely on it. Continue reading