Instead of Encouraging Enrollment in Comprehensive Health Coverage, New Federal Guidance Requires Taxpayers to Subsidize Health Care Sharing Ministries

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has published a proposed rule that would grant tax advantages reserved for insurance to individuals’ spending on health care sharing ministries, raising real questions about using federal funds to promote a coverage option that fails to provide consumers with financial protection for health care expenses. JoAnn Volk walks through the proposed rule and its potential implications for consumers.
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Seeing Fraud and Misleading Marketing, States Warn Consumers About Alternative Health Insurance Products

States are warning consumers of fraud and about the inadequate nature of some insurance products being sold that masquerade as health coverage. Over the last year, we identified alerts or press releases issued by 15 states warning consumers to be on their guard against deceptive marketing pitches for these products. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR experts spoke with regulators in five of these states to better understand what was behind these warnings and get insight into potential pitfalls for consumers. Continue reading

Church Plans and Health Care Sharing Ministries: Different Entities, Different Consumer Protections

A provider association has recently heard from member physician offices about patients enrolled in “church plans” in which preventive services, such as child well visits and immunizations, aren’t covered. What are these church plans and why don’t they have to comply with the Affordable Care Act insurance reforms? CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette has some answers. Continue reading

Beware the Latest Loophole

As significant an impact as the Affordable Care Act will have on the U.S. health insurance market, there remain a number of ways health insurance carriers and other stakeholders may avoid or delay the law’s reforms. Christine Monahan discusses a new loophole gaining attention at the state level that would allow health insurance carriers to delay compliance with the ACA’s 2014 market reforms for a year. Continue reading