As a freelance writer and director of a small nonprofit that provides expressive arts experiences to refugees in Tucson, Arizona, Marge is already very busy. But last year, Marge spent so much time trying to find a primary care physician in her health plan’s network that it began to feel like her third part-time job. Marge spent months calling doctors who were listed in her plan’s online provider directory, but this critical consumer resource proved to be inaccurate.
Last week, CMS announced some changes to special enrollment periods for the health insurance marketplaces. We were disappointed to see that CMS is tightening the rules to allow for people who are moving permanently to qualify for an SEP.
To be eligible for the permanent move SEP, the new rule now requires consumers to have minimum essential coverage for at least one of the 60 days before they move. Previously, consumers could enroll upon moving without having prior health insurance.
The big news from Capitol Hill this spring comes courtesy of House Republicans, who are still mulling over plans to replace the Affordable Care Act. As we’ll explain, although no formal plan has been released, several harmful proposals have sprung up. But this spring also brought some fresh ideas from members of Congress that would, if passed, improve our health care system.
Covered California could be the first exchange in the country to sell health insurance to undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The state marketplace is trying to use a Section 1332 “state innovation” waiver to obtain federal approval for a plan to offer coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. While the proposal does not allow undocumented people and DACA recipients to receive financial assistance to help them with the costs of insurance, it is an important step toward universal coverage.
We know you have a lot going on, and there isn’t always time to read everything. That’s why we’ve rounded up five of our most popular blogs published between January and March of this year.
This year we launched a campaign to enact standards to address this issue at the state and federal level. Our campaign supports the work of advocates in many states, including close partnerships with advocates in Georgia, Maryland, and Colorado. Read about the progress those states are making!
The Affordable Care Act has helped expand access to affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. But consumers’ out-of-pocket costs are sometimes still too high, preventing them from getting the care they need.
In a new study released last month, NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard found that a quarter of Americans still report experiencing serious financial problems due to medical expenses.
Early this week, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) released the Republican budget, “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America.” But the name is a marketing ploy. A close look at the plan reveals that, on the contrary, it would weaken millions of American families by taking away access to affordable health coverage.
The House Republican budget plan includes disastrous health care cuts and program restructuring that would mean significant health insecurity for children, working families, seniors, and people with disabilities.
This week, the House Ways and Means Committee in Congress will vote on legislation that would eliminate caps on how much money marketplace consumers must repay the federal government if they receive more premium tax credits (a form of financial assistance) than they should based on their projected annual income. Families USA is concerned that the bill could deter people from signing up for health insurance if there is no longer a reasonable cap on how much they could be required to repay.
There's a lot to like in the new “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters” rule from the federal government, both about what insurers must offer in the health plans they sell on the federal marketplace in 2017 and about other issues related to enrollment. However, we had hoped the government would release its originally proposed, firmer standards for provider networks and make other parts of this rule mandatory, not voluntary, for insurers.
Overall, the rule, released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last week, takes significant steps toward making health insurance and care more affordable and making it easier for consumers to compare health plans. In this blog we discuss a number of specific provisions of the rule that will most affect people who buy health insurance through the marketplace.