Navigator Guide FAQs of the Week: I Need Health Insurance. Where Should I buy it?

Open enrollment for the Obamacare marketplaces begins on November 1. While CHIR has been working hard the last several weeks to re-launch its Navigator Resource Guide with updated frequently asked questions and other exciting new features, many are just beginning to think about their health plan options for 2021. For those folks we have some helpful FAQs about the importance of coverage and the process for applying. Continue reading

Idaho Misses Opportunities to Help Consumers Get Affordable, Comprehensive Health Coverage During COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, states have taken charge of responding to the public health emergency. As a state that runs its own health insurance marketplace, Idaho has tools at its disposal to help consumers enroll in comprehensive coverage. But like the federal marketplace, Idaho decided not to wield all of them, leaving large marketplace enrollment barriers and instead promoting alternative and less comprehensive coverage. Continue reading

Stepping in When States Don’t Step Up: First “State-Based” Plans Filed in Idaho, Violating the Affordable Care Act

Last week Blue Cross of Idaho filed the first “state-based” health plans, products that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirements for coverage offered on the individual market. When a state can’t or won’t enforce federal law, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is supposed to step in. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab outlines HHS’ authority to protect the rule of law and ensure that Idaho consumers continue to receive the benefits they are promised under the ACA. Continue reading

Risky Business: Health Actuaries Assess the Individual Market and Rates

As the health care debate continues, we face a number of unknowns. Congressional leadership and President Trump vowed to repeal the ACA, but have yet to reach a consensus on the replacement plan. Meanwhile, consumers and insurers are making big decisions about health plans without knowing what the individual market will look like. Predicting the impact of unknown events is no easy task; if you’ve misplaced your crystal ball, the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) recently released an issue paper on the future of the individual market, lending their expertise to a debate riddled with uncertainty. Continue reading

After a Slow Start, Federal Small Business Health Insurance Marketplace Offers New and Improved Functions

With intense focus on enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, enrollment through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) has flown under the radar by comparison. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, Kevin Lucia, Justin Giovannelli and Sean Miskell discuss early challenges for the SHOP as well as recent improvements. Continue reading

State-Based Marketplaces Offer More Health Plan Choices for 2015 Coverage

One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to make health insurance more affordable and accessible, in part by increasing health plan competition. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR faculty Sean Miskell, Kevin Lucia and Justin Giovannelli find that competition is in fact increasing, and consumers shopping on the state-based marketplaces have more choices among insurers than they did last year. Continue reading