Over the past two decades, state-based consumer advocates and health care practitioners have worked together to help low-income people—including those living in communities of color or with chronic medical conditions—gain access to health coverage. As more people gained insurance coverage, consumer advocates and health care providers focused their attention on improving the patient’s experience with the health care system.
The second open enrollment period just ended—and it was a tremendous success. The fact that enrollment systems functioned much better this time around certainly made it easier for people to enroll. But there’s no doubt that the commitment and creativity of 23,000 certified application counselors, navigators, and in-person assisters across the country have made big contributions to enrollment gains. In this enrollment period, we saw navigators and assisters reach new heights of creativity as they strove to find consumers and help them sign up for health insurance.
The second open enrollment period in the health insurance marketplaces is officially closed. But HealthCare.gov and several state marketplaces are still accepting applications for coverage. These include California, Kentucky, New York, and Washington State—the four states participating in our final open enrollment teleconference call yesterday. The directors from these state-based marketplaces explained that the extensions are only for consumers who recently started an application to get health coverage but were not able to finish.
When health plans design their provider networks, they need to ensure that these networks are adequate and provide meaningful access to care. The Affordable Care Act established the first-ever federal rights guaranteeing private insurance consumers access to adequate networks.
Much like a cell phone, an insurance plan is only as good as its network. Protections enacted at the federal and state levels are an important step toward strengthening private insurance provider networks. The Affordable Care Act created the first-ever provider network protections for private insurance consumers. These protections require health insurance marketplace plans to have adequate networks to meet their enrollees’ medical needs in a timely manner.
A new study released by the UCLA Center for Health Care Research pokes holes in an argument that opponents of Medicaid expansion often use to justify their opposition: that giving uninsured people Medicaid coverage will lead to long-term runaway health care costs. Researchers at UCLA examined data from California’s early Medicaid expansion and found that that wasn’t the case.
What makes up an “adequate” network of health care providers for consumers from diverse racial and ethnic groups? Our new brief describes policies to help achieve such networks—and strategies to put these policies in place.
Fast-Track Enrollment Could Save Your State Valuable Time, Money, and Staff Resources—All While Increasing the Number of People Who Get Health Insurance
New data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demonstrate the marked success of recent enrollment efforts: Since before the first open enrollment period to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has grown by 7.2 million people.
“Fast-track” enrollment strategies save states money and increase insurance coverage by streamlining Medicaid enrollment. Learn how it worked in Illinois and West Virginia.
Designing Silver Health Plans with Affordable Out-of-Pocket Costs for Lower- and Moderate-Income Consumers
This brief identifies silver plan designs that make the upfront cost for care more affordable. You’ll also find policy and advocacy strategies to help advocates and policy makers effectively promote similar plan designs in other marketplaces across the country.