How Could a New Administration Tackle Affordable Care Act Challenges? Look to Medicare

The next President and Congress will likely need to consider policy options to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces. But the challenges in those markets are not unique – Medicare Advantage markets have faced similar turmoil. In this blog post for Health Affairs, Sabrina Corlette and Jack Hoadley review the Bush administration’s policy responses to market instability in Medicare – and the lessons those policies hold for the ACA. Continue reading

New Marketplace Research: Off-Marketplace Consumers and How Marketplace Enrollees Fare in Expansion and Nonexpansion States

Two new studies captured our attention recently. One, from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services examines enrollment in coverage inside and outside the health insurance marketplaces. The other, from Urban Institute researchers, examines different enrollment experiences between Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states. The Center for Children & Families’ Karina Wagnerman takes a closer look. Continue reading

New and Improved Navigator Resource Guide

There’s a national election approaching but it isn’t for President. In just one week, consumers can vote for a new health plan on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. To help them through that process, CHIR is proud to re-launch the Navigator Resource Guide, a searchable, online resource for close to 300 frequently asked questions about private health insurance and the marketplaces. Continue reading

Enrollees Aren’t Abusing Marketplace Grace Period

Insurers and other critics have called on the Obama Administration to shorten the 3-month grace period for paying overdue health plan premiums, asserting that consumers are abusing it. But as documented by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Tara Straw, such concerns reflect a misunderstanding of how grace periods work and are refuted by enrollment and disenrollment data. Continue reading

Low-Income Households and ACA Tax Policies: Benefit from Tax Credits but Paying the Penalty

We are well into the third tax year of ACA premium tax credits and the individual shared responsibility requirement. The IRS recently released a report on 2014 income tax filings that includes data on the first year of the PTC and ISRP. We analyzed this data to look at the tax credits and payments by income brackets and found that millions of low-income tax filers benefited from the PTC in 2014 – but millions of low-income tax filers also paid the ISRP, indicating that a very vulnerable population still lacks coverage. 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

A “Volatile Marketplace”: Second Quarter Earnings Calls Offer Glimpse of How Insurers Are Faring on ACA Marketplaces—and What 2017 Might Bring

In a turbulent year for the Affordable Care Act, health insurers’ second-quarter earnings calls and financial filings can offer a glimpse of how they are faring on the ACA marketplaces and strategies for 2017. In their latest publication for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia and Emily Curran share key takeaways from these key insurance industry financial reports. Continue reading

As Administration Reviews Comments on Short-Term Insurance Plans, Analysis Finds Gaps in Coverage

The Obama Administration is reviewing feedback on its proposed rule to clamp down on the sale of short-term health plans. If finalized, the rule could help stabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces – and help protect consumers from being duped into buying plans that don’t meet their health needs. CHIR’s Dania Palanker shares what she found in a review of what short-term plans actually cover, as well as the mix of industry responses to the Administration’s proposed regulation. Continue reading