Tag: Congress

Facility Fees 101: What is all the Fuss About?

Consumers are facing higher out-of-pocket costs when they receive outpatient care due to hospital “facility fees.” In a post for Health Affairs Forefront, Linda Blumberg and Christine Monahan provide a primer on facility fees, including the trend of hospital consolidation driving these fees and federal policy options to protect consumers from rising costs in outpatient settings.

Reforming Abusive Billing Practices, One Step At A Time

As hospitals expand and take over outpatient care settings, consumers are facing additional charges in the form of facility fees when they see physicians and other providers. In a new post for Health Affairs Forefront, Christine Monahan and Linda Blumberg detail congressional proposals to reform billing practices that expose consumers to facility fees.

Averting Premium Shock for Marketplace Consumers

The American Rescue Plan Act has led to record-high marketplace enrollment and significant savings for millions of consumers. But the law’s enhanced marketplace subsidies are set to lapse at the end of the year. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, Katie Keith explains why there is urgency for Congress to act sooner rather than later.

Public Input on How to Design a Federal Public Option

Congressional leaders requested input from the public on how to design a federal public health insurance option. CHIR’s Christine Monahan compiled and reviewed dozens of publicly available responses and shares key takeaways, as well as links so you can take a closer look.

U.S. House Investigation Offers New Evidence on the Dangers of Short-Term Plans

On June 25, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released the results of a year-long investigation into the practices of the Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance industry. The Committee looked into 14 companies that sell or assist consumers in enrolling in short-term plans, and its findings confirm what we have known for some time – short-term plans are a bad deal for consumers. CHIR’s Emily Curran discusses five highlights from the Committee’s report, including new evidence on the status of the STLDI market.

House Hearings Shed Light on a Key Policy Priority: Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions

After becoming a rallying cry in the midterm elections, pre-existing condition protections have taken center stage on Capitol Hill: in January and February, the House of Representatives held three hearings about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, before the Ways & Means Committee, the Education & Labor Committee, and the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee. As the ACA faces legal challenges in federal court, these proceedings set the scene for how this policy debate will play out in Congress and offer insight into potential legislative action.

The District of Columbia’s Coverage Requirement Is Caught in Congressional Crosshairs, and Consumers Could Pay the Price

When Congress repealed the individual mandate’s financial penalty, some states acted quickly to protect their markets from deterioration. A handful of state legislatures and the Council of the District of Columbia considered or enacted legislation creating a state-based coverage requirement. While many states faced political hurdles and unforgiving timelines in enacting their own mandates, D.C. now has an additional obstacle: the U.S. Congress.

The FAA Reauthorization Bill – An Unexpected Vehicle for Relief from Surprise Medical Bills?

More often than not, air ambulance services are called in to serve people in severe physical distress who do not have the capacity at the time to provide consent. Yet many are later hit with huge surprise out-of-network charges for the flight. State departments of insurance and state legislators across the nation have taken notice of this issue and sought to protect consumers, but a federal law that has nothing to do with health care prevents them from regulating air ambulance providers. CHIR’s Maanasa Kona explains two potential federal remedies.

Signs of Marketplace Stability May Be Undercut by Federal Policy Uncertainty

Recently, analysts have found evidence of marketplace stability after a number of insurers scaled back participation and increased premiums for 2017. Despite this progress, federal efforts to repeal and replace the ACA have sparked growing concerns about the marketplace’s sustainability. To understand how insurers are faring in the marketplaces amidst federal reform activity, CHIR experts reviewed the first quarter financial earnings of seven of the largest, publicly traded insurers.

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.