A Limited Extension for Insurance Enrollment: Precedents from Part D

Recently, the Obama administration extended the enrollment period for people who’ve faced roadblocks in their attempts to sign up for a health plan by March 31. Some observers have compared this action to the flexibility exercised by the Bush administration in the roll out of Medicare Part D. Others say it was quite different. Our Georgetown Health Policy Institute colleague and Medicare expert Jack Hoadley cuts through the rhetoric and points us to the precedents to pay attention to. Continue reading

How the “3 Rs” Contributed to the Success of Medicare Part D

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act are latching onto the law’s “3Rs” (risk corridors, risk adjustment, and reinsurance) as a “bailout” for insurers. Yet one of the models for the 3Rs is the Medicare Part D drug benefit, where these programs have been working for years to help stabilize premiums. Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Jack Hoadley provides some context – and strong evidence that the 3Rs are in place to protect beneficiaries and taxpayers – not bail out health plans. Continue reading

Helping People Select Insurance Coverage: A Tale of Two Programs

Shopping for and selecting a new health coverage plan can be challenging for many consumers. One government program – Medicare Part D – recently announced a new policy to make the process of selecting a prescription drug plan easier for beneficiaries. Sabrina Corlette compares the Medicare approach to that taken by the health insurance marketplaces – and shares new CHIR research on state actions to simplify consumers’ shopping experiences. Continue reading

Patience and Flexibility Needed as Those with New Insurance Start Using Health Care Services January 1

Now that healthcare.gov is finally working, attention is turning to challenges people might face as they start seeking health care services. In his latest blog, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Jack Hoadley discusses how Medicare officials responded to post-enrollment glitches in Part D – and provides some lessons learned for the ACA roll out. Continue reading

How Does ACA’s First Week Compare to Medicare Part D’s?

The new health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act had a bumpy launch this week, overwhelmed with traffic, and with many interested shoppers facing technical glitches comparing plans and enrolling in coverage. But this wasn’t the first time an administration faced challenges rolling out a key domestic policy priority. Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University’s Health Policy reminds us in this blog that Medicare Part D’s web-based plan comparison tool faced similar technical problems. Continue reading

Marketplace IT Glitches: The Sky Is Not Falling

The new health insurance marketplaces open for business today. In a blog originally posted on The Commonwealth Fund blog, Kevin Lucia, Sabrina Corlette and Sarah Dash remind us that while the marketplaces, like all start-ups, are likely to experience some early glitches, for the millions who have been shut out of coverage because of a pre-existing condition or an inability to afford insurance, we are entering a new era of consumer-focused health insurance. Continue reading

Are the Wheels Coming off the ACA Wagon? History Suggests Not

There’s been a lot of angst lately about strategic decisions by the Obama Administration to delay elements of the Affordable Care Act. In a blog that originally appeared on the Hill’s Congress blog, Sabrina Corlette and her Georgetown colleague Jack Hoadley note that the Bush Administration made similar decisions to delay, phase-in, and waive key elements of the Medicare Part D law in response to implementation challenges. Continue reading