States Looking to Run Their Own Health Insurance Marketplace See Opportunity for Funding, Flexibility

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace. Recently, along with Pennsylvania, several states have taken steps towards transitioning to their own marketplace and enrollment platform. In their newest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab and JoAnn Volk review the latest state actions to transition to a state-run platform and break down some of the incentives for states to leave the federal marketplace. 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

Affordable Care Act Back in the Spotlight: Build on its Progress or Scrap it Entirely?

It is hard to find a starker example of the different approaches our two political parties take to health care than the events of March 26, 2019. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette breaks down the Trump administration’s push to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional and a comprehensive bill to expand coverage and improve affordability, introduced just hours later by leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. Continue reading

Stakeholders Respond to the Proposed Health Reimbursement Arrangement Rule. Part I: State Insurance Departments and Marketplaces

In October 2018, the Trump administration proposed rules to expand the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) by loosening current federal limitations. The administration’s proposal would allow employers to offer employees the tax-advantaged accounts to assist with health care expenses, including premiums, in lieu of employer-sponsored coverage. To understand the potential impact of the proposals, CHIR reviewed comments from various stakeholder groups. For the first blog in our series, Rachel Schwab summarizes comments from state marketplaces and state insurance departments. Continue reading

Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: Eligibility for Premium Tax Credits

The midterm elections are over, but open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act marketplaces is in full swing. Georgetown CHIR has created a Navigator Resource Guide with 300+ answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about marketplace eligibility, enrollment, and coverage. For our FAQ of the Week we’re focusing on: Who is eligible for financial help with premiums? 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

States Opt to Run their Own Exchanges to Save Money, Reclaim Autonomy

Last month, the Board of New Mexico’s health insurance exchange voted to transition from HealthCare.gov to a state-based exchange. The state will undertake the task of building its own eligibility and enrollment platform with the hopes of launching a website in time for the 2021 plan year. This is the same exchange that, in 2015, called the federal platform HealthCare.gov the “safest, most risk-free way to proceed.” So, what changed? CHIR’s Rachel Schwab looks at the reasons behind the growing call to leave HealthCare.gov. Continue reading