HHS Launches Outreach to Educate Public about Exchange Coverage; Unveils Name and Website for the Federal Exchange

With just under nine months to go until the open enrollment season begins on October 1, 2013, polls show that the general public is still largely unaware of the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Sarah Dash takes a look at the new Health Insurance Marketplace website unveiled by HHS to educate the public about health insurance exchanges. Continue reading

Will New Laws in States with Federally Run Health Insurance Marketplaces Hinder Outreach?

Although the federal government will play a primary role in administering the navigator program in the 33 states with a federally facilitated exchange, many state legislatures have enacted or considered legislation that subjects navigators to state requirements. In a post that originally appeared on The Commonwealth Fund Blog, Katie Keith, Kevin Lucia, and Christine Monahan describe the role of navigators and well as the potentially detrimental impact of this recent state legislative activity on effective consumer outreach. Continue reading

Arming Navigators for the Millions of Enrollees Headed Their Way

With the fast approach to open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplaces, there is growing interest in navigators and other assisters who will help people learn about their coverage options and get enrolled. JoAnn Volk explains how CHIR will be adding to the private insurance knowledge and support for navigators and assisters with a quick reference guide on private health insurance and the reforms of the ACA. Continue reading

Evolving Dynamics of Health Insurance Exchange Implementation

Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the roles of states and the federal government in establishing health insurance exchanges—marketplaces where people can shop for comprehensive and affordable health plans—have evolved considerably. In a post that originally appeared on The Commonwealth Fund Blog, Sarah Dash, Christine Monahan, and Kevin Lucia describe where exchange establishment decisions currently stand. Continue reading

Florida’s Changes to Rate Review: Heading Backward?

Of the many consumer protection tools available to health insurance regulators, one of the most powerful is the ability to review premium rates. Yet, some states have made recent decisions to abdicate this authority to federal regulators. Sally McCarty discusses recently enacted legislation in Florida that suspends the state’s rate review requirements – and what it means for insurers, regulators, and consumers. Continue reading

Navigator and Assister Training is Not a One-Shot Deal

The state-based and federally facilitated marketplaces have been busy recruiting and selecting navigators, and now attention turns to training and support. In this guest blog from our Center for Children and Families colleague Tricia Brooks, she makes the case for a robust, holistic approach to building, supporting, and sustaining a high-functioning network of assisters that can ensure consumers needs are fully met. Continue reading