Tag: alternative coverage

Navigator Guide FAQs of the Week: The Risks of Buying Coverage Outside the Marketplace

As 2023 comes to a close, it’s time to think about health insurance for 2024. Consumers searching for a 2024 plan online may come across products that do not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) consumer protections. This week, we’re highlighting frequently asked questions from our Navigator Resource Guide concerning the risks of buying coverage outside the ACA’s Marketplace.

The Perfect Storm: Misleading Marketing of Limited Benefit Products Continues as Millions Losing Medicaid Search for New Coverage

A massive coverage transition is underway for millions of people who have relied on Medicaid throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. After a three-year pause, states have begun disenrolling residents from Medicaid, leaving millions of people in need of new coverage. A secret shopper study conducted in June 2023 suggests that people losing Medicaid are facing aggressive marketing of limited benefit products.

Misleading Marketing of Non-ACA Health Plans Continued During COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period

Millions of Americans are eligible for health insurance plans with low or no premiums and significantly reduced cost-sharing this coming open enrollment, but misleading marketing practices may direct some consumers to alternative plans that lack the Affordable Care Act’s protections. Researchers at CHIR recently replicated a previous secret shopper study to determine if consumers shopping for comprehensive coverage during the COVID-19 special enrollment period were still being directed to these alternative plans.

In the Age of COVID-19, Short-Term Plans Fall Short for Consumers

During February’s State of the Union address, President Trump touted his administration’s efforts to expand access to short-term health plans that do not comply with any of the ACA’s consumer protections. Short-term plans are often cheaper than ACA-compliant plans because they can deny coverage to people and exclude entire categories of services. In a recent post supported by The Commonwealth Fund, we reviewed 12 short-term plans to determine what coverage consumers would have if they needed treatment for COVID-19. We found that consumers in short-term plans are likely to have less financial protections than those enrolled in ACA plans.

Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: What Does My Plan Cover?

With Open Enrollment now underway, consumers are weighing their options for 2020 and trying to find the right plan that meets their health needs. As consumers make their decision, it is important for them to understand what they are buying and what coverage their plan provides. This week we answer four questions about marketplace plans’ coverage standards.

Seeing Fraud and Misleading Marketing, States Warn Consumers About Alternative Health Insurance Products

States are warning consumers of fraud and about the inadequate nature of some insurance products being sold that masquerade as health coverage. Over the last year, we identified alerts or press releases issued by 15 states warning consumers to be on their guard against deceptive marketing pitches for these products. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To The Point blog, CHIR experts spoke with regulators in five of these states to better understand what was behind these warnings and get insight into potential pitfalls for consumers.

Aliera Healthcare Prompts Increased State Activity on Health Care Sharing Ministries

Over the last few months, state officials have increasingly acted to warn consumers about the potential risks of enrolling in health care sharing ministries (HCSMs). These efforts have ranged from educating consumers on HCSMs to initiating legal action against fraudulent practices. While some consumers may find value in HCSMs, recent actions by Aliera Healthcare provide one example of how entities may use HCSMs’ unregulated status to skirt oversight and take advantage of consumers.

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.