From Acne to EcZema: The Return of Medical Underwriting Puts Millions at Risk for Losing Coverage or Higher Premiums

Medical underwriting, outlawed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a practice used by insurance companies to assess a consumer’s health status. In the event of an ACA repeal, millions of people could lose coverage, pay higher premiums, or receive inadequate benefits that exclude essential health services, all based on a pre-existing condition. While many of us don’t see ourselves as falling under that category, the list of health conditions that qualify you for the chopping block may surprise you. Continue reading

How will Premium Rate Changes Affect Consumers’ Renewals into Marketplace Coverage? Lessons Learned from 2015’s Enrollment Season

As states finalize premium rates for marketplace plans by August 25, we’ll know the extent of changes for 2016 coverage. How will premium changes affect consumers who may be automatically renewed into coverage? CHIR’s Sandy Ahn shares lessons learned from the first year of marketplace renewals and what can be done to improve consumers’ experiences as we head into the next open enrollment season. Continue reading

Proposed Premium Rate Increases for 2016: The Jury Is Still Out

There’s been some hand-wringing over large proposed premium increases for health plans in 2016. But it’s important to remember that rate requests vary – a lot – by insurer and location. And that these rates are only proposed. They’re subject to regulatory scrutiny, and many proposed hikes may be reduced. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sean Miskell and Dave Cusano discuss the drivers of 2016 premiums and states’ role in keeping coverage affordable. Continue reading

Turf Battle or Promising Partnership? Understanding Marketplaces’ Responsibility to Offer Affordable Health Insurance

Local press in D.C. recently reported on a “turf battle” between the health insurance marketplace and DC’s Department of Insurance over the review of proposed rate increases. But their roles are more complementary than conflicting. Sabrina Corlette examines how the Affordable Care Act envisions the marketplaces and state insurance departments working together to help consumers obtain better, more affordable health insurance. Continue reading

Florida’s Changes to Rate Review: Heading Backward?

Of the many consumer protection tools available to health insurance regulators, one of the most powerful is the ability to review premium rates. Yet, some states have made recent decisions to abdicate this authority to federal regulators. Sally McCarty discusses recently enacted legislation in Florida that suspends the state’s rate review requirements – and what it means for insurers, regulators, and consumers. Continue reading