State Efforts to Lower Cost-Sharing Barriers to Health Care for the Privately Insured

Current federal proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act are likely to result in higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Six states and D.C., however, have policies to lower cost-sharing barriers to important health care services and drugs for the privately insured. In a new research brief, CHIR researchers take a closer look at some of these states’ experiences developing and implementing these policies. Continue reading

Loss of Cost-Sharing Reductions in the ACA Marketplace: Impact on Consumers and Insurer Participation

In an updated article published on The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point site, CHIR experts JoAnn Volk, Dania Palanker, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia examine the possibility that the Trump administration will pull the plug on the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and discuss the potential consequences for individual health insurance markets and the consumers who rely on it. Continue reading

Though the ACA Faces Tough Critics, Millions are Having an Easier Time Paying Medical Bills

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has extended insurance coverage to 22 million people, but the law’s critics often point to the high out-of-pocket costs in some of the ACA’s marketplace health plans. And while many people do face high deductibles and cost-sharing for health care services, a recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that dramatically fewer people are struggling to pay medical bills, compared to what they faced before the ACA. Continue reading

Study: Medicaid Offers Stronger Cost Sharing Protections Compared with Marketplace Coverage

In the debate over Medicaid expansion, most of the attention has been on families in non-expansion states who are shut out of coverage. But what about those just above the poverty line who are eligible for marketplace tax credits? A new study compares their experience to those with similar incomes in Medicaid expansion states. Sean Miskell shares the findings. Continue reading

HHS Study Shows Benefits of Shopping and Subsidies, but Costs Still a Concern

With health insurers’ rate filings looming on the horizon, many are concerned we’ll see proposed premium increases for 2017. But a report released last week demonstrates that, behind the headlines, consumers are likely to see more affordable premiums after they’ve shopped for the best deal. At the same time, another study shows that consumers’ out-of-pocket costs for health services are steadily rising. Sean Miskell has the details. Continue reading

A Look at Proposals for Improving Health Coverage Affordability

Welcome to 2016. With first votes being cast in the 2016 election cycle less than two weeks away and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) promising to unveil an ACA replacement plan to steer the 2016 party agenda, the policy debate on health reform is far from over. We here at CHIR are keeping an eye on reform proposals, and in this post, CHIR’s Hannah Ellison examines various proposals to improve affordability of coverage under the ACA. Continue reading