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

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

Massive Navigator Funding Cuts Pose Risks for Consumers, Marketplaces

On September 12, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services released the in-person assistance awards for the 2018-2019 enrollment season. The Administration allotted $10 million to the federally facilitated marketplaces, a more than 80 percent drop in funding over two years. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe explains the risks the funding cuts pose on consumers and the ACA marketplaces. Continue reading

Enrolling in Health Insurance is Complicated. That’s Where Navigators Can Help.

With the close of Open Enrollment for federally run marketplaces last week, preliminary reports suggest this year’s total sign-ups will be fewer than prior years. The Administration also recently released data that calls into question the value of Navigators, noting that they accounted for less than 1 percent of customers who were signed up by federally funded navigator organizations in 2016. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe explains how these data fail to tell the whole story. Continue reading

State-Based Marketplaces Push Ahead, Despite Federal Resistance

Open enrollment for 2018 started last week on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. Along with its executive actions designed to weaken marketplaces operations, the Trump administration has taken a number of steps over the past year to curb marketplace enrollment. While the administration has scaled back efforts to provide health coverage, state-based marketplaces have taken a different approach. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR’s Emily Curran and Justin Giovannelli share their findings from interviews with executives at 15 of the 17 states that operate their own marketplaces. Continue reading

States Work to Preserve Affordable Care Act Progress amidst Federal Disorder

It’s been a bumpy year for state insurance and marketplace officials, thanks to considerable uncertainty over the future of the ACA. CHIR’s Emily Curran highlights recent action suggesting that some states may be poised to reassert their authority over their insurance markets, as they work to maintain the ACA’s coverage gains and keep their markets stable. Continue reading

Healthcare.gov Rolls out Two Operational Changes Related to Verifying Special Enrollment Periods and Immigration Status

While Congress shifts away from talking about how to replace the Affordable Care Act to stabilizing the individual market, enrollment in ACA marketplaces continues. Recently, the administration made two operational changes affecting federally facilitated marketplaces and states using healthcare.gov: phase 2 of pre-verifying special enrollment eligibility and a process to electronically resolve data matching issues related to immigration status. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn summarizes the changes. Continue reading