March Research Roundup: What We’re Reading

The CHIR team is excited to transition into spring, as with the warmer weather has come some great new health policy research! This month, Nia Gooding reviewed studies on best practices for implementing the No Surprises Act, the American Rescue Plan Act’s effect on insurance premiums, demographic variations in the U.S. uninsured population, and models for implementing a public option. Continue reading

Removing Roadblocks: Special Enrollment Period Data Show Increase in Marketplace Signups

Last month, the Biden administration established a temporary special enrollment period (SEP) on the federal health insurance marketplace in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the first two weeks of the SEP, the federal marketplace saw a rise in enrollment activity, and the expansion of premium subsidies under the American Rescue Plan is expected to generate even greater enrollment increases. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at how recent federal actions tap into the Affordable Care Act’s potential and expand its reach. Continue reading

Federal Policy Priorities for Preserving and Improving Access to Coverage: Perspectives from State-Based Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces provide a critical source of coverage and financial assistance. Federal actions under the Trump administration undermined the marketplaces, but the new administration and Congress have opportunities to implement and advocate for policies that strengthen state-based marketplaces (SBMs). In a new issue brief for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts assessed how federal policy decisions have impacted SBMs and the consumers they serve by interviewing directors and officials from 17 marketplaces. Continue reading

The Benefits and Limitations of State-Run Individual Market Reinsurance

The Affordable Care Act brought about historic coverage gains, providing millions of Americans with vital access to comprehensive health insurance. But for many, high premiums continue to present a major barrier to coverage. States have adopted various policies to make health plans on the individual market more affordable, pursuing one approach more than others: reinsurance. In a new issue brief for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts explore the benefits and limitations of state-run individual market reinsurance programs. Continue reading

On its 10th Anniversary, during a Public Health Crisis, the Affordable Care Act is More Important Than Ever

The past few weeks have tested the U.S. health care system. In a world where we are all at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, access to health care is a universal human need. On the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, CHIR takes some time to consider how battling this pandemic would have been even more difficult if it weren’t for this groundbreaking federal law. Continue reading

Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: What Are the Risks of Buying Off-Marketplace?

Open Enrollment in most states ends in just about two weeks, on December 15. While consumers are weighing their coverage options, we know that affordability is top of mind. Consumers who are ineligible for the Affordable Care Act’s tax subsidies might be tempted to look outside of the marketplace for cheaper options. We’ve collected a number of frequently asked questions from our Navigator Resource Guide on how to spot junk plans. Continue reading

This Thanksgiving, We’re Thankful for the Affordable Care Act’s Protections

It’s that time of year again. Our team at CHIR is heading far and wide for Thanksgiving, and as we gather around different tables, we’ll be sure to give thanks. One thing on our minds this season is our gratitude for the ongoing insurance protections provided by the Affordable Care Act. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab highlights some of the reforms we’re grateful for. Continue reading

Swimming against the Tide: Policies in State-Based Marketplace States Help Counter Negative Trends in Uninsurance Rates

The latest U.S. Census data show the uninsured rate for nonelderly adults is rising,  including among middle- and higher-income people who do not qualify for Affordable Care Act premium subsidies. Such an increase is partly attributable to policies implemented by the Trump administration to undermine the ACA. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe explains that when it comes to individual market enrollment, however, national numbers mask significant differences in state-to-state performance. Continue reading

Stakeholders React to HHS’s Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. Part 2: State Insurance Departments and Marketplaces

On April 18, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized changes to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and insurance rules in the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2020 plan year. The agency received over 26,000 comments on the proposal. To gauge stakeholder reactions, CHIR reviewed a sample of these comments. In the second part of our blog series, Rachel Schwab summarizes responses from a selection of state insurance departments and state-based marketplaces. Continue reading