Stakeholders React to HHS’s Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. Part 2: State Insurance Departments and Marketplaces

The final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020 is expected any day. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed changes that it plans to apply to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and insurance rules, and received over 26,000 comments on the proposal. To gauge stakeholder reactions, CHIR reviewed a sample of these comments. In the second part of our blog series, Rachel Schwab summarizes responses from a selection of state insurance departments and state-based marketplaces. Continue reading

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