Ensuring Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine for Enrollees in Private Health Insurance: A Roadmap for States

States and the federal government are preparing for the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine. But just as important as distributing and administering the vaccine is figuring out how to pay for it. In her latest “expert perspective” for the State Health & Value Strategies program, Sabrina Corlette discusses recent federal efforts to ensure that private health plans cover the full costs of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as options for states to close potential gaps in coverage. Continue reading

A Mother’s Day Gift Basket from Congress and the Trump Administration

This Mother’s Day, both Congress and the Trump administration have put together a special gift basket of policies that continue to threaten access to health care for women, mothers, and families everywhere. From federal funding cuts to weaker benefit requirements, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab and Dania Palanker unwrap the presents and assess their potential impact on coverage. Continue reading

Trump’s New Rule on Birth Control is Basically Discrimination Against Women

The Trump administration recently released regulations allowing employers, colleges, and universities to eliminate birth-control coverage from their health-benefit plans because of religious or moral objections. CHIR expert Dania Palanker explains how these new rules will allow employers and schools to discriminate against women while undermining the importance of women’s health. Continue reading

Graham-Cassidy 2.0: Taking Insurance Protections Out of the Individual Market

Another day, another version of the Graham-Cassidy bill. This new version makes numerous technical changes that continue to place health care for the roughly 90 million consumers who rely on the individual health insurance market or Medicaid at risk. CHIR expert Dania Palanker outlines how the bill could affect access to affordable coverage for women, people with chronic illness, older people, and others. Continue reading

A Lot to Lose: What’s on the Line for Women if the Affordable Care Act is Repealed

It’s the holiday season, but rather than visions of sugar plums dancing above our heads, we have visions of mammogram machines, birth control, doctor offices, and medical bills. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women faced numerous barriers obtaining affordable health care. After years of insurance industry practices like gender rating and pre-existing condition exclusions, the ACA ushered in a new era for women’s health, eliminating those discriminatory and unfair insurance practices from the insurance market. Continue reading

Health Plan Restrictions on Contraceptive Coverage: It’s like asking people to “renew their seat belt each month”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has lowered financial barriers to birth control by requiring health plans to cover contraceptives at no cost sharing, but restrictions limit the availability and affordability of certain methods. While we’ve come a long way in ensuring access to this essential service, one hundred years after Margaret Sanger opened the first Planned Parenthood clinic in Brooklyn, nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. Addressing the unmet need for contraceptives and enabling women to maintain consistent and accurate drug use is a public health issue that affects insurers, consumers, and providers. Continue reading

New Guidance Clarifying Preventive Services under the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act requires most health plans to cover preventive services without cost sharing and enables consumers to access evidence-based medical care such as cancer screenings and immunizations for children. Implementation of this requirement, however, has raised questions and caused confusion among insurers, providers and consumers. Sandy Ahn reviews the Administration’s most recent guidance on this critical ACA provision, designed to clarify for insurers what they must do to comply and ensure that consumers receive the benefits they are promised under the law. Continue reading