During the COVID-19 Crisis, State Health Insurance Marketplaces Are Working to Enroll the Uninsured

As the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown continue, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces are an important tool in covering the uninsured. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts Rachel Schwab, Justin Giovannelli and Kevin Lucia explore how state-based marketplaces have worked to enroll the uninsured during the COVID-19 crisis by creating new opportunities to sign up for coverage and launching outreach campaigns. Continue reading

Idaho Misses Opportunities to Help Consumers Get Affordable, Comprehensive Health Coverage During COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, states have taken charge of responding to the public health emergency. As a state that runs its own health insurance marketplace, Idaho has tools at its disposal to help consumers enroll in comprehensive coverage. But like the federal marketplace, Idaho decided not to wield all of them, leaving large marketplace enrollment barriers and instead promoting alternative and less comprehensive coverage. Continue reading

COVID-19 Response: States That Run Their Own ACA Marketplace Are Better Positioned to Help Consumers Get Covered

During the current public health and financial crises brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces offer a crucial safety net. States that run their own marketplaces have a significant advantage in helping consumers obtain comprehensive, affordable health insurance. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab looks at some opportunities for state-based marketplaces that don’t exist for states relying on the federal marketplace. Continue reading

State-Based Marketplaces Find Value, Potential Opportunity for Growth in Small-Business Offering

Small businesses have historically struggled to provide coverage to their workers. The ACA sought to address these issues through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), creating marketplaces for small employers to offer coverage to their employees. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts take a look at ways that state-based marketplaces are investing in their SHOPs, and how some are seeing enrollment growth and savings for small businesses. Continue reading

States Looking to Run Their Own Health Insurance Marketplace See Opportunity for Funding, Flexibility

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace. Recently, along with Pennsylvania, several states have taken steps towards transitioning to their own marketplace and enrollment platform. In their newest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab and JoAnn Volk review the latest state actions to transition to a state-run platform and break down some of the incentives for states to leave the federal marketplace. Continue reading

ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment Numbers Reveal the Impact of State-Level Policy and Operational Choices on Performance

During the last open enrollment period, the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces faced a number of headwinds, including federal policy changes predicted to curb enrollment. Given myriad obstacles to enrollment efforts, it came as no surprise that overall marketplace plan selections dropped slightly this year. But a deeper dive into enrollment trends reveals that most state-based marketplaces outperformed the federally facilitated marketplace. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Rachel Schwab and Sabrina Corlette unpack data from the recent open enrollment period to see how the marketplaces performed during a turbulent time, finding that certain policy and operational decisions were associated with better results. Continue reading

What’s New for 2019 Marketplace Enrollment? Get Ready for Updated, Improved Navigator Resource Guide

On November 1, the sixth open enrollment period begins for marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We at CHIR will soon re-launch our updated Navigator Resource Guide, which provides information on recent policy changes, a list of enrollment tools for consumers and assisters, and answers to hundreds of frequently asked questions. To learn what’s new for 2019, read our CHIRBlog summarizing the major policy changes consumers might encounter this year. Continue reading

How Did State-Run Health Insurance Marketplaces Fare in 2017?

In a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief, CHIR’s Justin Giovannelli and Emily Curran interviewed leadership staff of 15 of the 17 state-run marketplaces to understand how states on the forefront of health reform perceived and responded to federal policy changes and political uncertainty in 2017. Their research finds that federal administrative actions and repeal efforts created confusion and uncertainty in 2017 that negatively affected state-run markets. Continue reading

Insurer Participation in ACA Marketplaces: Federal Uncertainty Triggers Diverging Business Strategies

A reliable indicator of health insurance markets’ stability is insurer participation, including the number of insurers that elect to sell individual plans and whether they participate over subsequent years. In a recent analysis for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts looked at insurer participation in the state-based Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces from 2014 to 2018, which sheds light on how state marketplaces have maintained competition despite uncertainty about the law’s future. Continue reading

State Efforts to Lower Cost-Sharing Barriers to Health Care for the Privately Insured

Current federal proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act are likely to result in higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Six states and D.C., however, have policies to lower cost-sharing barriers to important health care services and drugs for the privately insured. In a new research brief, CHIR researchers take a closer look at some of these states’ experiences developing and implementing these policies. Continue reading