Lots of Changes for 2018 Marketplace Enrollment Mean Confusion for Consumers

Open enrollment will be here sooner than we know it. But this year’s open enrollment, will be quite different from previous years due to numerous policy changes and proposed budget cuts to marketplace consumer outreach, assistance, and enrollment system under the Trump administration. These changes will make it much more confusing for consumers and place much more of a burden on the assisters that help them. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn summarizes some of the change in store for 2018 open enrollment. Continue reading

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

Open Enrollment IV (OE4) is Just around the Corner: Things to Watch

While it seems like we just finished open enrollment, the next round for 2017 coverage is right around the corner. For open enrollment IV, officials will be implementing new policy changes in an effort to ensure not just a better shopping experience, but also to minimize disruptions of coverage and financial assistance. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn and Sabrina Corlette summarize some of the 2017 changes for FFMs below. Continue reading

Little Known Provision Keeps Kids From Slipping Through Cracks Due to Differences in Eligibility Rules

For the most part, the ACA tries to align the ways that Medicaid and the health insurance marketplaces determine eligibility for their respective programs. But every once in a while, there’s a risk that someone might fall through the cracks. This initially appeared to be the case when our colleague Tricia Brooks was asked to help with a complex family situation in which a child seemed to be caught between the differences between each program’s rules, putting him at risk of being uninsured. Fortunately, Tricia was able to unearth a little known but important rule that helps kids get the coverage they’re entitled to. 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

Getting Ready for OE3 – New Kaiser Family Foundation Survey Provides Helpful Lessons

We’re just 12 weeks away from the start of the third open enrollment period (OE3) for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. The results from a recently released Kaiser Family Foundation survey of health insurance Navigators and brokers offer some helpful insights on ways to improve consumer outreach and enrollment going forward. CHIR’s Hannah Ellison and Sabrina Corlette share some highlights. Continue reading

3-Year Navigator Grants Will Provide Stability to Enrollment Assistance

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has published the first indications of where it intends to take the Navigator program for the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. Some new policies could bring some much needed stability to in-person consumer assistance. Our colleague at Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families, Tricia Brooks, has the details. Continue reading