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

HHS Proposes EHB Rule Changes

The federal Department of Health and Human Services recently published a proposed regulation that signals some potentially helpful changes to the requirement that health insurers cover a set of essential health benefits. Our colleague at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, Joe Touschner, offers this overview. Continue reading

Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Revisiting the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Requirements

Within the next several months, federal officials must decide whether to maintain or modify their “transitional” approach to implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits (EHB) requirements. In a new issue brief for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR researchers examine how states have exercised their flexibility under the current EHB rules. Continue reading

New Issue Brief Examines Specialty Drugs in Tiered Pharmacy Benefit Structures

Health plans have been increasingly using tiered pharmacy benefit designs. These new designs raise challenges for consumers and the state insurance regulators responsible for reviewing and approving plans for sale. CHIR faculty members Sally McCarty and David Cusano explore these issues in a new brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health Reform Assistance Network. Continue reading