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

August Research Round Up: What We’re Reading

Summer is over, but health policy researchers have hardly taken a vacation. In August’s research round up, CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe looks into studies examining specialty drug coverage across commercial plans, the effects of the Affordable Care Act on people of different income levels, individual market premium predictions, employer-sponsored high-deductible health plans, and surprise medical bills in employer-sponsored insurance. Continue reading

June Research Round Up: What We’re Reading

State officials, insurers, and consumer advocates and assisters are gearing up for a hectic 2019 enrollment season as federal uncertainty threatens the stability of the individual market. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe dives into research about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has affected consumers’ access to insurance coverage and care. She also looks at research on reasons behind this year’s increased premium rates and last year’s surprisingly successful Open Enrollment season.  Continue reading

ACA Days of Summer

It’s getting to be a summer tradition: a new set of court decisions on the Affordable Care Act. This past week two courts reached opposite conclusions on whether the IRS can issue subsidies through the federally facilitated marketplaces, affecting potentially 7.3 million people. Research Fellow Sandy Ahn talks about these decisions and their impact on the ACA’s ability to address the “three As” of health coverage: access, affordability, and adequacy. Continue reading