Federal Flexibility Grants Highlight State Priorities for Market Stability

Last month, the Department of Health & Human Services awarded $8.6 million in grants to 30 states and the District of Columbia to provide additional support to implement certain ACA market reforms, including guaranteed issue, guaranteed renewal, and the Essential Health Benefits. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab took a look at how states plan to use the federal funding, and what tops the list of state market stabilization and consumer protection priorities. Continue reading

New Funding Opportunity Allows States to Bolster Consumer Protections

On February 5th, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) put out a Notice of Funding Opportunity. The federal agency anticipates that $8.1 million is available for state initiatives focused on insurers’ compliance with federal market reforms and consumer protections, giving states the opportunity to improve their oversight efforts. With the February 26th deadline for letters of intent just around the corner, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab provides an overview of the new grant program. Continue reading

The Affordable Care Act prohibits discriminatory benefit design, but how is that enforced?

The Affordable Care Act put in place new protections to prevent health plan benefit designs that discriminate against people based on their health needs. But implementing and enforcing those protections have been easier said than done. CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia take a look at regulatory lessons learned and challenges ahead. Continue reading

Supporting Health Plan Oversight: Consumer Organization Directory for State Regulators

In the wake of formal complaints that insurers are marketing health plans with discriminatory benefit designs, state insurance regulators are under increasing pressure to subject these plans to greater scrutiny. But with limited resources and manpower, states are feeling squeezed. As part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project to support states with Affordable Care Act implementation, CHIR researchers Kayla Connor and Sally McCarty created a directory of consumer organizations willing to partner with states to conduct plan analyses. Continue reading

Regulatory Activity in Two States Restricts How Plans Structure Specialty Drug Coverage

Two state insurance regulators, Florida and Montana, have taken recent regulatory action to address concerns raised by advocacy groups about the way specialty drugs are covered in pharmacy benefit plans offered in their states. Sally McCarty provides details of those actions and related updates on the oversight of discriminatory benefit designs. Continue reading