States Leaning In: Washington Doubles Down on Efforts to Shore up Market, Protect Consumers

In the wake of federal actions to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s reforms, states have assumed an even greater role in protecting consumers and ensuring market stability. Washington State, a long-time leader in state health insurance reform, has taken up that mantle. Since our last post highlighting Washington’s policy playbook, the state has implemented several more policies to preserve their insurance market and bolster consumer protections. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at some of the state’s new developments. Continue reading

Trump Administration Pushes for Sale of Insurance Across State Lines

Recently, the Trump administration issued a request for information (RFI) seeking recommendations on ways to facilitate the sale of insurance across state lines, allowing insurers to bypass the insurance standards of states that have strong consumer protections and benefit requirements by headquartering in a state with few regulations in place. The policy is often touted as a way to reduce the cost of coverage and improve consumer choice, but states and insurers have been reluctant to embrace it. A CHIR study conducted after the ACA was signed into law sheds light on why. Continue reading

Shopping for a Short-Term Plan? The Information You Get about it Will Depend on Your State

Stakeholders have expressed mixed views on the value of short-term limited duration insurance. However, most seem to agree that, at a minimum, consumers should know what they are purchasing. States have the authority to require insurers to provide disclosures in addition to the federal minimum standard. We looked at short-term disclosures in four states – Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Washington – and found that a wide spectrum exists regarding the amount of detail states require their insurers to disclose. Continue reading

Short-Term Health Plans Sold Through Out-of-State Associations Threaten Consumer Protections

The expansion of short-term policies has raised concerns that they may be deceptively marketed, with some sellers leading consumers to believe they are buying a comprehensive policy when they are not. While twenty-four states have sought to regulate short-term plans, their efforts may be undermined by a loophole that allows the policies to be sold through out-of-state associations – a practice we found to be quite common. Continue reading

New Georgetown Report: Assessing the Effectiveness of State-Based Reinsurance

As state legislatures across the country prepare to convene in 2019, improving access to affordable health coverage will likely be on the agenda. Several newly elected officials have expressed an interest in establishing a state reinsurance program, following in the footsteps of a handful of states who have utilized the Affordable Care Act’s 1332 waivers for this purpose. As reinsurance gains ground as a state-level effort to promote market stability, stakeholders can learn from the experience of states that have already implemented reinsurance programs. In a new report from Georgetown, authors Rachel Schwab, Emily Curran, and Sabrina Corlette evaluate progress in the three states that have operational reinsurance programs: Alaska, Minnesota, and Oregon. Continue reading

What’s in the Association Health Plan Final Rule? Implications for States

The Trump administration has released new rules to expand the availability of association health plans that are exempt from many of the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. In her latest article for State Health & Value Strategies’ Expert Perspectives blog, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette covers key provisions of the new policy and digs into the implications for states, insurance markets, and the consumers and small businesses that purchase private coverage. Continue reading

Stakeholders Respond to the Proposed Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance Rule. Part II: Major Medical Insurers

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury received over 9,000 comments on their proposed rule, which aims to expand the availability of short-term, limited duration insurance. CHIR reviewed comments submitted by health care stakeholders to better understand industry reactions to the proposal. In part two of this four-part series, CHIR’s Emily Curran analyzes comments from nine major medical insurers and associations. Continue reading

States Leaning In: Washington

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, states have embraced the law to varying degrees. While some states have refused to implement the ACA and actively oppose it, other states have leaned in, stepping up to preserve the consumer protections and market rules in the wake of federal actions to weaken the law. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab examines steps that Washington State has taken to ensure that their residents can continue to obtain affordable, high quality coverage, and how other states can do the same. Continue reading

Reading the Fine Print: Do ACA Replacement Proposals Give States More Flexibility and Authority?

State leaders have been heartened by statements from the new President and Congressional leaders that ACA replacement plans will give them more autonomy over their health insurance markets. But is that really true? In a post for the Health Affairs blog, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia examine the fine print of House and Senate replacement plans and find that they broadly preempt state authority. Continue reading