COVID-19 Response: States That Run Their Own ACA Marketplace Are Better Positioned to Help Consumers Get Covered

During the current public health and financial crises brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces offer a crucial safety net. States that run their own marketplaces have a significant advantage in helping consumers obtain comprehensive, affordable health insurance. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab looks at some opportunities for state-based marketplaces that don’t exist for states relying on the federal marketplace. Continue reading

New Georgetown CHIR Report: In Trump Era, States Revisit the Benefits and Risks of Running Their Own Health Care Marketplace

Half a dozen states have announced they will transition from HealthCare.gov to their own, state-run health insurance marketplaces. In a new report with the Urban Institute, CHIR researchers assess states’ reasons for making the switch, risks and benefits, and considerations for policymakers in other states contemplating a similar move. Continue reading

ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment Numbers Reveal the Impact of State-Level Policy and Operational Choices on Performance

During the last open enrollment period, the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces faced a number of headwinds, including federal policy changes predicted to curb enrollment. Given myriad obstacles to enrollment efforts, it came as no surprise that overall marketplace plan selections dropped slightly this year. But a deeper dive into enrollment trends reveals that most state-based marketplaces outperformed the federally facilitated marketplace. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab and Sabrina Corlette unpack data from the recent open enrollment period to see how the marketplaces performed during a turbulent time, finding that certain policy and operational decisions were associated with better results. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’s Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. Part 3: Consumer Advocates

On April 18, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized changes to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and insurance rules in the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2020 plan year. To gauge stakeholder reactions, CHIR reviewed a sample of these comments. In the third and final of our blog series, CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe summarizes responses from a selection of consumer advocates. Continue reading

Affordable Care Act Navigators: Lack of Funding Leads to Consumer Confusion, Decreased Enrollment

Last year, we talked with Navigators to learn about how they reached consumers despite major funding cuts. In light of a number of new policy changes and further funding decreases, CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe checked in with Navigators and assisters from five states on how they fared in this year’s Open Enrollment, and the challenges ahead. Continue reading

Trump Administration Hands States Another Tool for Dismantling Preexisting Condition Protections

Last week, the Trump administration issued long-anticipated guidance regarding the ACA’s Section 1332 “innovation waiver” program. The guidance breaks dramatically with past policy and, arguably, with the statute it purports to interpret, inviting states to undermine coverage for people with preexisting conditions. CHIR’s Justin Giovannelli analyzes the guidance and its implications. Continue reading

States Lean In as the Federal Government Cuts Back: Navigator and Advertising Funding for the ACA’s Sixth Open Enrollment

With open enrollment into the Affordable Care Act marketplaces beginning November 1st, there will be considerable divergence among states in the amount of information and personalized assistance consumers receive about coverage options. While the federally run marketplace has dramatically cut back its investments in both advertising and the Navigator program, the state-based marketplaces are making big investments in those activities. In their latest To The Point blog for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Rachel Schwab discuss the findings from a new survey of state-based marketplaces. Continue reading