States That Leaned In on the Affordable Care Act Have Much to Lose

In the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s passage, 17 states embraced the chance to set up and manage their own marketplace and design an insurance market to meet local needs. In their latest article for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Emily Curran and Kevin Lucia review these states’ progress on expanding coverage and stabilizing their markets and find that they have much to lose if the law is repealed. 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

CHIR Expert Sabrina Corlette Talks Marketplace Problems, Possible Solutions at Alliance for Health Reform Briefing

On Monday, September 26th, CHIR’s very own Sabrina Corlette spoke at a briefing on the future of ACA marketplaces put on by the Alliance for Health Reform. Ms. Corlette joined representatives from Anthem, the American Action Forum, and Covered California to discuss the forecast for 2017 and potential policy solutions to expand coverage and access in the individual market. Continue reading

Wisconsin’s Objection to Automatic Re-enrollment of Enrollees in Federally Facilitated Marketplaces

The administration recently issued a proposal to smooth renewals for consumers affected by insurance company exits from the health insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Wisconsin, which has been slow to warm to the ACA, is objecting on grounds that it violates principles of “consumer choice.” CHIR’s Sandy Ahn breaks down Wisconsin’s objection and contends the administration’s proposal not only protects consumer choice, but ensures continuous health insurance coverage for consumers. Continue reading

When Policy Isn’t Put Into Practice: State-Based Marketplaces Fail to Meet Goals of Standardizing Benefit Designs

As the federal insurance marketplace moves forward to standardize health plan benefit designs, what lessons can be learned from the state marketplaces that have had similar policies in place since 2014? A new Georgetown report examines the experiences of four state-based marketplaces and finds they have largely failed to meet their policy goals. Continue reading

States Innovation Waivers under the ACA: A Closer Look at the Updated Federal Guidance and State Proposals

Beginning in 2017, states can pursue “innovation waivers” under section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act. These waivers allow states to pursue broad alternatives or targeted fixes to the ACA. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR researchers Kevin Lucia, Justin Giovannelli, Sean Miskell and Ashley Williams examine the waiver applications that have been submitted so far, as well as activity in states considering a waiver. Continue reading

2016 Insurer Participation Remains Stable in State-Based Marketplaces

In the wake of the high-profile closures and departures of some health plans from the individual market, a close analysis of plan participation in the state-based marketplaces demonstrates that consumer choices remain relatively stable. In CHIR’s latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, Emily Curran, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia assess insurers’ participation in the state-run marketplaces and the policy levers in place to help foster competition. Continue reading