Category: State of the States

Facility Fee State Legislative Roundup: 2024 Session

With more outpatient care being delivered in hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) than in previous years, consumers increasingly face high hospital facility fee charges on top of their provider’s bill for routine medical care. CHIR’s Hanan Rakine discusses the 2024 legislative session and how different states have been successful in regulating outpatient facility fees.

States Expand Access to Affordable Private Coverage for Immigrant Populations

In the United States, immigrants are disproportionately likely to be uninsured. This disparity stems from systemic inequalities such as legal barriers to affordable coverage for noncitizens—especially undocumented immigrants. While state efforts to provide Medicaid-equivalent benefits to some populations of undocumented residents have helped expand access to coverage, many low- and moderate-income undocumented residents remain without affordable health insurance options. In a recent post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Justin Giovannelli and Rachel Schwab explore recent state actions to fill this gap.

State Options for Making Hospital Financial Assistance Programs More Accessible

According to recent estimates, almost 100 million people have debt because of medical or dental bills. To mitigate this problem, nineteen states and the District of Columbia require hospitals to provide financial assistance to low-income populations, but the process of applying for financial assistance is often cumbersome and inaccessible. In a recent post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Maanasa Kona discusses how some states have made the financial assistance application process easier for their residents.

Report Shows Dispute Resolution Process in No Surprises Act Favors Providers

Last month, the Biden administration reported on independent dispute resolution (IDR) cases resolved under the No Surprises Act in the first half of 2023. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Jack Hoadley and Kevin Lucia analyze the IDR data and what it means for patients, providers, payers, and health care costs.

Health Care Sharing Ministries Leave Consumers with Unpaid Medical Claims

Last year, Colorado became the first state to require comprehensive data from all health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) selling memberships in the state. In a post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s JoAnn Volk and Justin Giovannelli, along with attorney and health policy consultant Christina L. Goe, take a look at data from Colorado’s first HCSM report.

State Public Option Plans Are Making Progress on Reducing Consumer Costs

States remain motivated to adopt reforms that improve affordability and expand access to coverage for populations that still lack access to care. State public option–style plans are a key candidate for consideration. In a post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts provide an update on states that have established or are laying groundwork for public option–style plans.

Policy Innovations in the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act’s Marketplaces have seen record signups for 2024. Marketplaces can pursue innovative and consumer-friendly policies that bolster this crucial source of coverage. In a recent issue brief for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts reviewed policy decisions across state-run Marketplaces and the federally facilitated Marketplace.

State Health Equity Initiatives Confront Decades of Racism in the Insurance Industry

As another Marketplace Open Enrollment Period begins, millions of Americans will turn to insurance brokers to guide them to affordable and comprehensive health insurance. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Jalisa Clark and Christine Monahan look into the underrepresentation of people of color in the broker profession and the clients they serve, including the historical origins of these racial disparities and how the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces are intervening.

Uneven Ground: Differences in Language Access Across State-Based Marketplaces

The annual Marketplace Open Enrollment Period is just around the corner. Enrolling in health insurance can be a challenge, especially for the millions of Americans with limited English proficiency (LEP). In a new issue brief for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts document how the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplaces are facilitating access to health insurance information for LEP individuals, identify persistent gaps in language services, and recommend federal policies to improve language access in the Marketplaces.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the individual blog post authors and do not represent the views of Georgetown University, the Center on Health Insurance Reforms, any organization that the author is affiliated with, or the opinions of any other author who publishes on this blog.