Kaiser Family Foundation Survey on Assister Programs Reflects Signs of Progress – and Opportunities for Improvement

Assister programs and brokers play an integral role of navigating consumers through the marketplace enrollment process. Kaiser Family Foundation’s recent survey of these stakeholders indicates these programs will continue to be needed given the knowledge gaps that still exist among consumers and the high proportion of consumers who seek help with renewal. Current legal intern and guest blogger, Emma Chapman (Georgetown JD/MPP, expected 2018), summarizes the main findings of the survey. Continue reading

New Resource on Enrollment Now Available

As we draw nearer to the start of Open Enrollment 3, a new resource is available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the FFM and FF-SHOP Enrollment Manual. A complete guide of policy and operational information, the new Manual covers all topics related to eligibility and enrollment in the FFM and FF-SHOP. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn provides a quick summary of the new CMS resource. Continue reading

Consumer Assistance and Tools Needed to Ensure that All Eligible Marketplace Enrollees Get Cost-Sharing Reductions

A recent study has found that as many as 2.2 million people are missing out on Affordable Care Act cost-sharing subsidies that could make their insurance coverage more affordable. Our Center for Children and Families colleague, Tricia Brooks, discusses some critical tools the state and federal marketplaces could put in place to make sure consumers are getting the financial help they’re eligible for. Continue reading

New Online Resource Provides Answers to Common Health Insurance and Marketplace Questions

This week, CHIR is releasing an online version of the Navigator Resource Guide, with close to 300 searchable FAQs and easy-to-read background information on key health insurance and marketplace issues. Although designed with the needs of Navigators in mind, the Guide is a hands-on, practical resource for anyone who needs to communicate with consumers about the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading

State Restrictions on Health Reform Assisters May Violate Federal Law

Regulations issued last month by the Department of Health and Human Services show that laws in more than a dozen states may be invalid because they go too far in restricting the work of consumer assistance personnel certified under the Affordable Care Act. In a blog post published by The Commonwealth Fund, Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette discuss these new rules and how they affect state efforts to regulate consumer assisters. Continue reading

Federal Court Ruling Casts Doubt on State Power to Restrict Health Reform Navigators

In January, a federal court in Missouri became the first to rule on whether states have the legal authority to restrict the work of the Affordable Care Act’s consumer assistance “navigators.” In a new post for The Commonwealth Fund, Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette discuss the decision and explore its significance for Missouri and the other states that have adopted restrictions on navigators and consumer assisters. Continue reading