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

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

Healthcare.gov Changing Approach to Special Enrollment Periods, May be Bumpy Road for Consumers

The administration recently announced that it will require verifying documents from consumers with a qualifying life change for special enrollment periods. For consumers, this means more work and likely a bumpy road to accessing health insurance through healthcare.gov. Sandy Ahn takes a look at this change and what it may mean for consumers. Continue reading

Shop to Renew During Open Enrollment

While many consumers with marketplace coverage will be eligible for automatic renewal, there are many reasons for all consumers to shop to renew this year. For example, price changes to health plans as well as changes to the health plans themselves will impact the amount of premium tax credits and coverage for many consumers. We go over the reasons why all consumers should shop to renew this open enrollment. Continue reading

Updated Navigator Resource Guide

CHIR is pleased to release an updated online Navigator Guide on Private Health Insurance and Health Insurance Marketplaces with searchable frequently asked questions (FAQs) and easy-to-read background information on key health insurance and marketplace issues. With Open Enrollment just a few days away, get your Guide on! Continue reading

Accessing Provider Directories and Formularies: CHIR Goes Sleuthing

We’re counting down again to Open Enrollment 3 and this year, all health plans must make accessing provider directories and formularies, or the list of covered prescription drugs, easy for consumers. This means consumers should be able to find this information on insurer website sites without creating an account or entering a policy number. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn flexes her investigative skills and looks to see how accessible this information really is. Continue reading

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

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

New Report: The Experience of Six State-Based Marketplaces with First Year Renewals

A new report from CHIR researchers Sandy Ahn, Jack Hoadley and Sabrina Corlette revisits six state-based marketplaces that took varying approaches to renewing enrollees into 2015 coverage. The report examines how their different approaches affected enrollment and the consumer experience, and shares lessons learned for the next round of marketplace renewals. Continue reading