Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Special Enrollment Periods Provide Essential Coverage During Common Life Transitions, but Many People Don’t Know They Exist

Change in life is unavoidable: people move, get married, change jobs and have babies. Special enrollment periods (SEPs) allow people experiencing such life changes to access marketplace coverage, often with financial assistance. Unfortunately the majority of people don’t know about them. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn takes a look at SEPs, including the administration’s current approach to SEPs and the missed opportunities to raise overall awareness of them, strengthen the risk pool, and reduce the number of uninsured. Continue reading

CHIR Expert Sabrina Corlette Talks Marketplace Problems, Possible Solutions at Alliance for Health Reform Briefing

On Monday, September 26th, CHIR’s very own Sabrina Corlette spoke at a briefing on the future of ACA marketplaces put on by the Alliance for Health Reform. Ms. Corlette joined representatives from Anthem, the American Action Forum, and Covered California to discuss the forecast for 2017 and potential policy solutions to expand coverage and access in the individual market. Continue reading

Quality Over Quantity? New Medicaid Network Adequacy Rules Illuminate Disparities Among Insurance Program Standards

Narrow network plans, or plans with a limited network of providers, present problems for consumers across the various coverage programs. In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the final rule setting network adequacy standards for Medicaid and CHIP managed care plans. The new rule requires states to set quantitative standards for network adequacy; but since these standards don’t apply uniformly to other federal programs, network adequacy – and access to essential health services – varies greatly for consumers based on what program they fall under. Continue reading

Wisconsin’s Objection to Automatic Re-enrollment of Enrollees in Federally Facilitated Marketplaces

The administration recently issued a proposal to smooth renewals for consumers affected by insurance company exits from the health insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Wisconsin, which has been slow to warm to the ACA, is objecting on grounds that it violates principles of “consumer choice.” CHIR’s Sandy Ahn breaks down Wisconsin’s objection and contends the administration’s proposal not only protects consumer choice, but ensures continuous health insurance coverage for consumers. Continue reading

When Policy Isn’t Put Into Practice: State-Based Marketplaces Fail to Meet Goals of Standardizing Benefit Designs

As the federal insurance marketplace moves forward to standardize health plan benefit designs, what lessons can be learned from the state marketplaces that have had similar policies in place since 2014? A new Georgetown report examines the experiences of four state-based marketplaces and finds they have largely failed to meet their policy goals. Continue reading

Open Enrollment IV (OE4) is Just around the Corner: Things to Watch

While it seems like we just finished open enrollment, the next round for 2017 coverage is right around the corner. For open enrollment IV, officials will be implementing new policy changes in an effort to ensure not just a better shopping experience, but also to minimize disruptions of coverage and financial assistance. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn and Sabrina Corlette summarize some of the 2017 changes for FFMs below. Continue reading