Shopping Tips for 2018 Open Enrollment

What’s a marketplace consumer to think in this crazy-mixed up year for the Affordable Care Act? Federal policy uncertainty has led to some downright weird and counterintuitive premiums for marketplace plans. And smart shoppers can find some incredible deals. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn shares her shopping tips for this year’s open enrollment season. 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

State-Based Marketplaces Push Ahead, Despite Federal Resistance

Open enrollment for 2018 started last week on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. Along with its executive actions designed to weaken marketplaces operations, the Trump administration has taken a number of steps over the past year to curb marketplace enrollment. While the administration has scaled back efforts to provide health coverage, state-based marketplaces have taken a different approach. In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR’s Emily Curran and Justin Giovannelli share their findings from interviews with executives at 15 of the 17 states that operate their own marketplaces. Continue reading

Got Questions on Private Health Insurance? Get the New and Improved Navigator Resource Guide

Marketplace enrollment is upon us. November 1 marks the start to the fifth open enrollment season. To help marketplace Navigators and others assisting consumers with marketplace eligibility and enrollment, we at CHIR have updated and improved our Navigator Resource Guide. The Guide houses over 300 frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about all things marketplace coverage-related, as well as information about employer-sponsored coverage. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn highlights some of the changes. Continue reading

In the Aftermath of a Natural Disaster and Have Questions about your Health Insurance Coverage? CHIR Experts Answer Some Frequently Asked Questions

In the wake of devastating natural disasters, consumers living in hurricane or wildfire affected areas may have questions about their marketplace health insurance. As marketplace open enrollment for 2018 coverage begins in less than a month, CHIR experts have put together answers to questions that consumers may be asking particularly around how these natural disasters affect their ability to sign up for or re-enroll into marketplace coverage. Continue reading

ACA “Bare Counties”: Policy Options to Ensure Access Must Address Longer-Term Stability and Competition

September 27th marks the day most insurers have to formally decide whether they’ll stay in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces in 2018. While the danger of bare counties seems to have subsided, many more counties appear likely to have just one insurer offering marketplace coverage. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts look at the policy options for ensuring access and competition. Continue reading

The Next Round of Obamacare Regulations are Coming Soon: What Consumer Advocates Want to See

With the annual rule on marketplace operations and health plans expected this fall, we take a look at how consumer advocates responded to the Trump administration’s request earlier this summer on how it could reduce the regulatory burdens of the Affordable Care Act in the last of our three-part series. These comments, along with comments from insurers and state officials, may be used to inform future rulemaking, including the rule expected this fall.
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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

2017 Federal and State Marketplace Trends Show Value of Outreach

The fourth open enrollment period ended in early 2017, with dwindling momentum behind enrollment efforts at the federal level following the presidential election. In a new publication for the Commonwealth Fund, Emily Curran, Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia and Justin Giovannelli provide an overview of potential factors influencing enrollment changes in the state-based marketplaces, including increased efforts that may have had a positive effect on final selections. Continue reading

Proposed Trump Administration Rule Shortens Open Enrollment: Policy Goals, Potential Impact, and State Options

In February, the Trump administration proposed a number of rules that they hope will stabilize the individual market. One of these rules would cut this year’s open enrollment period from 90 days to 45 days. While HHS argues that the shorter timeframe could streamline the enrollment process and improve the risk pool, other health care stakeholders have expressed concern that a shortened OE might dampen enrollment and overwhelm state-based marketplaces. With the final rule expected any day, what are the possible impacts of shortening the annual enrollment period? CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look. Continue reading