Relaxing the ACA’s Regulations: Stakeholders Respond to HHS’ Request for Information: Part 1—Insurers

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asked this spring for public comments on potential changes to the Affordable Care Act. They received over 3,270 comments from a wide range of stakeholders. To better understand concerns related to the law, CHIR experts pulled a sample of comments from health insurers, state regulators, and consumer advocates. In Part 1 of this three-part series, Emily Curran reviews the recommendations of large and small insurers. Continue reading

Amid Market Uncertainty, Trump Administration Retreats from Health Plan Oversight

In mid-April, the Trump administration announced it would stop monitoring marketplace plans for compliance with several important federal protections and instead defer to states. In their latest blog post for The Commonwealth Fund, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia explain the new changes to insurance oversight, and assess the potential impact of this federal deregulation for states and consumers. Continue reading

Reading the Fine Print: Do ACA Replacement Proposals Give States More Flexibility and Authority?

State leaders have been heartened by statements from the new President and Congressional leaders that ACA replacement plans will give them more autonomy over their health insurance markets. But is that really true? In a post for the Health Affairs blog, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia examine the fine print of House and Senate replacement plans and find that they broadly preempt state authority. Continue reading

Quality Over Quantity? New Medicaid Network Adequacy Rules Illuminate Disparities Among Insurance Program Standards

Narrow network plans, or plans with a limited network of providers, present problems for consumers across the various coverage programs. In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the final rule setting network adequacy standards for Medicaid and CHIP managed care plans. The new rule requires states to set quantitative standards for network adequacy; but since these standards don’t apply uniformly to other federal programs, network adequacy – and access to essential health services – varies greatly for consumers based on what program they fall under. Continue reading

Telemedicine: Another Tool in the Toolkit to Meet Network Adequacy Standards?

Health plans have been increasingly narrowing their provider networks, raising concerns about gaps in access to services for consumers, particularly in areas with provider shortages. Could telemedicine be used to help fill those gaps? CHIR authors say not yet and summarizes key findings from a new report published in partnership with the Urban Institute and with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Continue reading