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 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 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 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 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 is pilot testing and should be available to all users before the end of open enrollment. Continue reading

The Experiences of State-Run Insurance Marketplaces That Use

Whether their exchange is state-based or federally facilitated, many state policymakers are seeking ways to realize the advantages of a state-run marketplace model while minimizing, so far as possible, the financial and operational burdens of building or maintaining one. In a new issue brief for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR researchers explore the experiences of four states that established their own exchanges but have operated them with support from the federal eligibility and enrollment platform. Continue reading

More than 400,000 Lose Marketplace Coverage: Let’s Fix This and Keep People Covered

This week federal officials released an updated marketplace enrollment report. While close to 10 million were enrolled in coverage as of June 2015, 400,000 people lost coverage because of citizenship data matching problems. In this blog post our colleague at Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families, Sonya Schwartz, notes that many who lost coverage are likely eligible but fell victim to marketplace system problems. She shares insights on how they could be fixed. Continue reading Fixes System Glitch in Counting Social Security Income for Certain Tax Dependents

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that they had fixed a technical glitch in that may have cost people thousands of dollars in subsidies. Our colleague at Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families, Tricia Brooks, helped to identify the problem early on and offers this take on what CMS can do to help the people affected by the error. Continue reading

A Busy November Weekend: Launch of OE2 and the NAIC Fall National Meeting

November 15th marks the start not only of open enrollment into the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces, but also of the NAIC’s Fall National Meeting. And many of the same issues on the mind of health insurance consumers are also priorities for state insurance department officials. Sabrina Corlette will be attending the meeting and has this preview. Continue reading

New Healthcare.Gov Screener Tool Needs Fixes to Avoid Confusing Consumers

Now that open enrollment into the new health insurance marketplaces is over, the only way people can enroll in marketplace coverage is by qualifying for a special enrollment period because of a life change such as a birth, marriage, a move, or a divorce. recently made available a new “screener tool” to help consumers determine whether they qualify. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette took the new tool for a test drive and has a few suggested improvements. Continue reading