Repealing The ACA Could Worsen The Opioid Epidemic

As our country grapples with an “unprecedented opioid epidemic,” Congress is taking steps to take away an important tool to fight it — the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In a post for the Health Affairs blog, CHIR expert Dania Palanker and Urban Institute researchers Lisa Clemans-Cope and Jane Wishner assess policies and programs under the ACA that have helped tackle the opioid crisis and what could be lost if they are repealed. Continue reading

From Acne to EcZema: The Return of Medical Underwriting Puts Millions at Risk for Losing Coverage or Higher Premiums

Medical underwriting, outlawed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a practice used by insurance companies to assess a consumer’s health status. In the event of an ACA repeal, millions of people could lose coverage, pay higher premiums, or receive inadequate benefits that exclude essential health services, all based on a pre-existing condition. While many of us don’t see ourselves as falling under that category, the list of health conditions that qualify you for the chopping block may surprise you. Continue reading

Taking a Look at ACA Non-Discrimination Rules: When Does Medical Management Cross the Line?

The ACA prohibits benefit limits and cost sharing that discriminate against individuals based on health status and other factors, but federal rules also stress that insurers can continue to use reasonable medical management, which would allow benefit limits based on certain circumstances. JoAnn Volk looks at what this may mean for regulators and consumers trying to tell the difference.
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States Revisit Essential Health Benefit Requirements, but Have Little Data on Consumers’ Experiences

Federal Affordable Care Act rules require the states to revisit the standard scope of benefits for individual and small business health plans – called essential health benefits or EHB – and determine whether revisions are needed. In a new blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts examine how the states approached this task, and what it might mean for consumers. Continue reading

More Trouble than it’s Worth? The Affordable Care Act’s Redefinition of the Small Group Market

The Affordable Care Act includes a reform of the health insurance market that has received relatively little attention, but that’s likely to change. The provision requires a change in the definition of small group health plan, and it could have a significant impact on premiums and offers of coverage by employers. Sabrina Corlette takes a look. Continue reading