Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: Eligibility for Premium Tax Credits

The midterm elections are over, but open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act marketplaces is in full swing. Georgetown CHIR has created a Navigator Resource Guide with 300+ answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about marketplace eligibility, enrollment, and coverage. For our FAQ of the Week we’re focusing on: Who is eligible for financial help with premiums? Continue reading

States Face Key Decisions if Alexander-Murray Proposal Is Included in Year-End Budget Bill

The Alexander-Murray bill to fund the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing subsidies could be included in an end-of-year budget deal. It includes provisions requiring states to make some quick decisions on an issue that many may have thought was put to bed. CHIR’s Justin Giovannelli provides an overview of what states may need to do, and when, if Alexander-Murray passes. Continue reading

Alexander-Corker Bill Would Likely Reduce, Not Expand, Consumers’ Health Insurance Options

Humana’s decision to pull out of the individual market in 2018 has prompted more concern over areas facing a dearth of marketplace plans next year, or “bare” counties. Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker recently introduced a bill that would waive the individual mandate for residents of bare counties, and allow them to receive federal premium tax credits to purchase plans outside of the marketplace. Sarah Lueck of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shares a new analysis of the bill and its potential impact on insurers and consumers. Continue reading

State Experiences Show Why Repealing the ACA’s Premium Subsidies and Individual Mandate Would Cripple Individual Health Insurance Markets

What will happen if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement? In their latest article for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia find that it could look a lot like the regulatory landscape that existed in several states that tried to enact health reform in the past. The lessons from those experiences are grim. Continue reading

Twelve Days of Coverage

Despite the gloom and doom surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), when we look back at what the ACA has achieved, there is cause to celebrate this holiday season. Six years after President Barack Obama signed the ACA into law, we have the lowest uninsured rate and record enrollment numbers on Healthcare.Gov, showing just how much people need and want comprehensive health insurance. As we hum along to our favorite holiday hits, CHIR has composed a new carol to pay homage to the monumental health care law that has led to unprecedented coverage and consumer protections. Happy holidays! Continue reading

Low-Income Households and ACA Tax Policies: Benefit from Tax Credits but Paying the Penalty

We are well into the third tax year of ACA premium tax credits and the individual shared responsibility requirement. The IRS recently released a report on 2014 income tax filings that includes data on the first year of the PTC and ISRP. We analyzed this data to look at the tax credits and payments by income brackets and found that millions of low-income tax filers benefited from the PTC in 2014 – but millions of low-income tax filers also paid the ISRP, indicating that a very vulnerable population still lacks coverage. 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