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

Relaxing the Affordable Care Act’s Guaranteed Issue Protection: Issues for Consumers and State Options

As we’ve been blogging about, the Trump administration finalized a Market Stabilization rule that makes numerous changes in how marketplaces and insurers are operating. One of the biggest changes affecting consumers is the Trump administration’s new interpretation of guaranteed issue or availability; but states have a range of options regarding this policy under the rule. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn and JoAnn Volk break it down for us. Continue reading

Simple Choice Plans Debut on Healthcare.Gov

Simple Choice plans, standardized benefit designs with fixed cost-sharing amounts and pre-deductible services, are new this year on Healthcare.gov. These types of plans can help consumers make “apples-to-apples” comparisons, but the the availability of such plans depends on insurer participation and local markets. Emily Curran and others here at CHIR take a look at the availability of Simple Choice plans on Healthcare.gov and find it’s a mixed bag. Continue reading

A Roadmap For Getting Enrollment Right for Immigrant Families

The Affordable Care Act brought the promise of affordable coverage to many lawfully present immigrants but many continue to face challenges when applying through healthcare.gov. Our colleague Sonya Schwartz of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families shares the top takeaways from her recently published report, which provides a roadmap that the marketplaces can use to to smooth the path to enrollment for immigrant families. Continue reading

Open Enrollment Begins, Kinks in the Cost Calculator Tool on Healthcare.gov and Other OE News

Open Enrollment 3 (OE3) is now underway and by all accounts, things are going smoothly. There are a few minor kinks with the out-of-pocket cost calculator, which officials have fixed or are working on fixing now. CHIR highlights two consumer facing tools that healthcare.gov is pilot testing and should be available to all users before the end of open enrollment. Continue reading