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

Understanding the Market for Short-Term Health Plans: States Prepare to Identify, Oversee Sellers and Products

Last week, the Trump administration issued a final rule reversing federal limits on short-term health coverage, allowing such plans to become a long-term alternative to individual market coverage. On the eve of this policy shift, we surveyed Departments of Insurance in the seventeen state-based marketplace states to better understand their short-term markets. We found that most states do not have a complete picture of which insurers are marketing short-term policies in their state. Continue reading

Coverage That (Doesn’t) Count: How the Short-Term, Limited Duration Rule Could Lead to Underinsurance

Any day now, the Trump administration is expected to publish new rules that will expand access to short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI). These plans are allowed to discriminate against sick people, exclude coverage of essential health services, and impose lifetime and annual benefit limits. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that the majority of plans expanded under this rule will be considered health insurance. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a closer look at how CBO defines health insurance, and explains how the expansion of STLDI could lead to widespread underinsurance. Continue reading

New Report Documents Barriers for People with Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorders Buying Coverage Before the ACA

In a report released this week by the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Georgetown researchers Dania Palanker, JoAnn Volk and Kevin Lucia document the many ways that individual market plans available before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fell far short of providing adequate, affordable coverage for people with mental illness and substance use disorders. Continue reading

A Mother’s Day Gift Basket from Congress and the Trump Administration

This Mother’s Day, both Congress and the Trump administration have put together a special gift basket of policies that continue to threaten access to health care for women, mothers, and families everywhere. From federal funding cuts to weaker benefit requirements, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab and Dania Palanker unwrap the presents and assess their potential impact on coverage. Continue reading

The 2019 Affordable Care Act Payment Rule: Summary & Implications for States

The Trump administration has released a new final rule to govern the Affordable Care Act’s individual and small-group markets, known as the 2019 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters. The rule includes an expansion of states’ role over the ACA’s health plan benefit and affordability provisions. In her latest Expert Perspective for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies Program, Sabrina Corlette untangles the rule and its implications for state decision-makers. Continue reading

The Future of the Affordable Care Act under President Trump: Stakeholders Respond to the Proposed Association Health Plan Rule. Part IV: Business Groups

In a recent proposed rule from the Department of Labor, the Trump administration has proposed major changes to the regulation of Association Health Plans (AHPs). In the fourth blog of our series examining feedback from stakeholders, CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe summarizes comments from twelve business groups. 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 Future of the Affordable Care Act under President Trump: Stakeholders Respond to Proposed 2019 Marketplace Rule. Part II: Consumer Advocates

The final 2019 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters has been submitted to the White House for review. The initial proposal included a number of changes to the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits, marketplace operations, and other consumer protections. In this second post in a series of blogs analyzing public comments on the proposed rules, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab examines responses from a range of consumer advocacy groups to better understand who the rule could impact. Continue reading