Tag: health care sharing ministries

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.

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.

Massachusetts Data on Health Care Sharing Ministries Reveal Finances That Put Consumers at Risk

Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSM) continue to be marketed widely, often as an alternative to the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans, even though HCSMs don’t follow the same rules and typically don’t provide the same protections. There is a dearth of data on HCSM operations and finances, but a Massachusetts rule has offered a glimpse behind the curtain. In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund, JoAnn Volk, Justin Giovannelli, and Christina Goe dig into new data on HCSMs.

Navigator Guide FAQ of the Week: What Are the Risks of Buying Off-Marketplace?

Open Enrollment in most states ends in just over two weeks, on December 15. While consumers are weighing their coverage options, we know that affordability is top of mind. Consumers who are ineligible for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) tax subsidies might want to look outside of the marketplace for slightly better deals on health plans. While doing so, however, consumers should be wary of what they might find. In this installment, we’ve collected a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) from our Navigator Resource Guide on junk plans.

Trump Administration Promotes Coverage That Fails to Adequately Cover Women’s Key Health Care Needs

The ACA expanded women’s access to comprehensive coverage. The Trump administration is seeking to overturn the law while promoting coverage options that are exempt from the ACA’s consumer protections, including short-term plans and health care sharing ministries. In a new post for The Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts examine the differences between ACA plans and the alternatives promoted by the Trump administration, finding that these products frequently exclude or severely limit coverage of services that are critical to women’s health.

Instead of Encouraging Enrollment in Comprehensive Health Coverage, New Federal Guidance Requires Taxpayers to Subsidize Health Care Sharing Ministries

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has published a proposed rule that would grant tax advantages reserved for insurance to individuals’ spending on health care sharing ministries, raising real questions about using federal funds to promote a coverage option that fails to provide consumers with financial protection for health care expenses. JoAnn Volk walks through the proposed rule and its potential implications for consumers.

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.

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.