Insurers, State Regulators Avoid Bare Counties in 2018, but Seek Long-Term Solutions

As we near the end of the second week of a so-far successful Open Enrollment, uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act remains a challenge. As insurers and state regulators prepared for the 2018 plan year, they addressed questions of whether Congress or the Trump Administration would make major changes to the law. This led to a situation in several states where some or all counties seemed likely to have no insurance plan available for residents seeking marketplace coverage. In a new issue brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CHIR experts examine the actions of six states that faced the prospect of bare counties for 2018. Continue reading

State Options Blog Series: Streamlined, Direct Marketplace Enrollment Has Risks, Benefits, but Much Depends on State Oversight

In the fourth of a multi-part blog series on state options in the wake of federal actions to roll back or relax Affordable Care Act regulation, JoAnn Volk reviews recent changes to an enrollment pathway that may prove helpful in boosting enrollment, but also comes with potential risks for consumers. She discusses what state insurance regulators can do to ensure consumers are protected from pitfalls. Continue reading

Got Questions on Private Health Insurance? Get the New and Improved Navigator Resource Guide

Marketplace enrollment is upon us. November 1 marks the start to the fifth open enrollment season. To help marketplace Navigators and others assisting consumers with marketplace eligibility and enrollment, we at CHIR have updated and improved our Navigator Resource Guide. The Guide houses over 300 frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about all things marketplace coverage-related, as well as information about employer-sponsored coverage. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn highlights some of the changes. Continue reading

State Options Blog Series: Federal Regulators May Weaken ACA Essential Health Benefits Requirements, Creating Need for States to Protect Consumers

In the third of a multi-part blog series on state options in the wake of federal actions to roll back or relax Affordable Care Act regulation, Dania Palanker reviews potential changes to the essential health benefit standard and the implications for consumers. She discusses what state legislatures and insurance regulators can do to ensure consumers continue to access affordable health care services. Continue reading

State Options Blog Series: Federal Regulators Relax ACA Health Plan Oversight, Creating Opportunities and Challenges for States

In the second of a multi-part blog series on state options in the wake of federal actions to roll back or relax Affordable Care Act regulation, Sabrina Corlette reviews the new approach to health plan management in the federally run marketplaces. She discusses the implications for consumers and what state insurance regulators may need in order to enhance health plan oversight. Continue reading

Recent and Potential Regulatory Actions to Roll Back the ACA: State Options Blog Series

While members of Congress debate possible bipartisan actions on the ACA, the future sustainability of the ACA’s consumer protections and markets also depend on regulatory and administrative actions. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette reviews a series of recent actions by HHS to recast the federal approach to health plan oversight and tees up an upcoming series of CHIRblog posts outlining options for states that want to retain some or all of the reforms adopted by the ACA. Continue reading

New Georgetown Report: Understanding the Consumer Enrollment Experience in the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces

A new report released by Georgetown CHIR researchers used call center data from the Assister Help Resource Center to provide insights into consumer experiences enrolling in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces during the 2016 enrollment season. Authors Sabrina Corlette, Sandy Ahn and Hannah Ellison share some of their top findings. Continue reading

Telemedicine: Another Tool in the Toolkit to Meet Network Adequacy Standards?

Health plans have been increasingly narrowing their provider networks, raising concerns about gaps in access to services for consumers, particularly in areas with provider shortages. Could telemedicine be used to help fill those gaps? CHIR authors say not yet and summarizes key findings from a new report published in partnership with the Urban Institute and with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Continue reading