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

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

Recommendations to Strengthen Navigator and Assister Programs

With the close of open enrollment in the new health insurance Marketplaces, it is a good time not only to applaud the work of the navigators and consumer assisters who helped people gain access to new coverage, but also to reflect on lessons learned and assess what can be done to improve consumer assistance for 2015. Our colleague at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, Tricia Brooks, does just that in her latest post. Continue reading

HHS Proposes to Preempt Some State Navigator Laws; Lays Out Federal Enforcement Framework

In a proposed regulation released Friday, March 14, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services drew a line in the sand for states with laws restricting the ability of Navigators and consumer assisters to perform the jobs required of them under the ACA. Sabrina Corlette has an overview of the proposed rules and what they mean for Navigators and for states. Continue reading