Health Care Sharing Ministries: What Are the Risks to Consumers and Insurance Markets?

Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSMs) are a form of health coverage in which members – who typically share a religious belief – make monthly payments to cover expenses of other members. HCSMs do not have to comply with the consumer protections of the ACA and may provide value for some individuals, but pose risks for others. We interviewed officials in 13 states and analyzed state laws in all states to better understand state regulators’ perspectives on regulation of HCSMs. Continue reading

New Report Documents Barriers for People with Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorders Buying Coverage Before the ACA

In a report released this week by the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Georgetown researchers Dania Palanker, JoAnn Volk and Kevin Lucia document the many ways that individual market plans available before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fell far short of providing adequate, affordable coverage for people with mental illness and substance use disorders. Continue reading

February 2018 Research Round Up: What We’re Reading

In CHIRblog’s February installment of What We’re Reading, CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe digs into new research that highlights the consequences of the recent short-term limited-duration health plan rule, the effects of expanded private insurance on access to primary and specialty care, the impact of the ACA’s dependent coverage provision on birth and prenatal outcomes, and an assessment of state-level efforts to expand access, affordability, and quality of coverage. Continue reading

Insurers, State Regulators Avoid Bare Counties in 2018, but Seek Long-Term Solutions

As we near the end of the second week of a so-far successful Open Enrollment, uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act remains a challenge. As insurers and state regulators prepared for the 2018 plan year, they addressed questions of whether Congress or the Trump Administration would make major changes to the law. This led to a situation in several states where some or all counties seemed likely to have no insurance plan available for residents seeking marketplace coverage. In a new issue brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CHIR experts examine the actions of six states that faced the prospect of bare counties for 2018. Continue reading