A Fixer Upper: Washington State Enacts Legislation to Boost its Public Option

Washington State enacted a first-of-its-kind public option, with the state-procured plans available beginning in 2020. But the inaugural year yielded underwhelming results, with fewer than 2,000 people enrolled in the plans and premiums that were on average higher than the prior year’s rates. After identifying several barriers to the program’s success, Washington enacted legislation this year to bolster the state’s public option. Continue reading

A Permanent Boost to Federal Premium Assistance Could Change State Approaches to ACA 1332 Waivers

The American Rescue Plan temporarily increases the availability and generosity of federal premium assistance for people who obtain coverage through the ACA marketplaces. Were Congress to make these premium subsidy enhancements permanent, states would have more breathing space to address other barriers to care, potentially with support from an ACA Section 1332 waiver. In a new work for The Commonwealth Fund, Justin Giovannelli examines how a permanent boost to federal subsidies could give states new and different opportunities to help their residents using the ACA’s waiver program. Continue reading

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

States Leaning In: Colorado

This year several states have taken an increasingly active role in expanding health insurance coverage, overseeing their insurance markets, and protecting consumers. Perhaps no state did more in 2019 than Colorado, which enacted a dizzying array of health insurance bills. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look in this installment of States Leaning In. Continue reading