Stakeholders React to HHS’ Proposed Market Stabilization Regulations: Part 2 – Consumer Advocates

Last month, the Department of Health & Human Services released proposed rules aimed at stabilizing the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces. After a 20-day comment period, they received close to 4,000 public comments. In the second post in our series on the reactions of health care stakeholders, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab looks at comments from consumer advocacy groups. Continue reading

Risky Business: Health Actuaries Assess the Individual Market and Rates

As the health care debate continues, we face a number of unknowns. Congressional leadership and President Trump vowed to repeal the ACA, but have yet to reach a consensus on the replacement plan. Meanwhile, consumers and insurers are making big decisions about health plans without knowing what the individual market will look like. Predicting the impact of unknown events is no easy task; if you’ve misplaced your crystal ball, the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) recently released an issue paper on the future of the individual market, lending their expertise to a debate riddled with uncertainty. Continue reading

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Special Enrollment Periods Provide Essential Coverage During Common Life Transitions, but Many People Don’t Know They Exist

Change in life is unavoidable: people move, get married, change jobs and have babies. Special enrollment periods (SEPs) allow people experiencing such life changes to access marketplace coverage, often with financial assistance. Unfortunately the majority of people don’t know about them. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn takes a look at SEPs, including the administration’s current approach to SEPs and the missed opportunities to raise overall awareness of them, strengthen the risk pool, and reduce the number of uninsured. Continue reading

New Rules on Special Enrollment Periods: What Do They Mean for Consumers and the Assisters Who Help Them?

What triggers a special enrollment period to allow someone to enroll on the individual market outside of open enrollment has been a hot debated topic of late. Recently the administration issued a new rule tightening what life events trigger a special enrollment period. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn summarizes the new rule and what it means for consumers and the assisters that help them. Continue reading

Healthcare.gov Changing Approach to Special Enrollment Periods, May be Bumpy Road for Consumers

The administration recently announced that it will require verifying documents from consumers with a qualifying life change for special enrollment periods. For consumers, this means more work and likely a bumpy road to accessing health insurance through healthcare.gov. Sandy Ahn takes a look at this change and what it may mean for consumers. Continue reading

Obama Administration Creates a New Special Enrollment Period

This is the first year that the marketplace is denying financial assistance to individuals who failed to file their 2014 tax return and reconcile their premium tax credits. Many of these individuals may not have had to file a tax return previously and cannot afford coverage in 2016 without financial assistance. Therefore, the administration is providing a special enrollment period for these individuals as long as they file a 2014 tax return and reconcile their 2014 premium tax credits before March 31, 2016. CHIR’s Sandy Ahn summarizes this time-limited special enrollment period.
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Confused about What Happens at Tax Time? FAQs on Penalties, Exemptions, Reconciliation, and SEPs

As part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project to help navigators and assisters in five states, faculty at Georgetown’s CHIR and the Center for Children and Families have been getting a lot of tax-related questions lately. Tricia Brooks, Sandy Ahn, Sabrina Corlette and JoAnn Volk share answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Continue reading