The third open enrollment period for consumers to buy health insurance through the marketplaces has officially begun! Automatic renewal will help ensure that people who got covered in 2015 stay covered in 2016. But to make sure they are getting the best plan they can afford and the right amount of tax credit, consumers will need to be active shoppers—and many will need help from assisters to make the right decision.
On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the servicemen and women who have sacrificed for our nation. But lawmakers in the 20 states that have refused to expand Medicaid are missing an important opportunity to give back to veterans, nearly 1 in 10 of whom lack health insurance. By expanding Medicaid, these states can help uninsured veterans and their families.
A majority of states are taking advantage of federal funds and expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Several states have done so using Section 1115 waivers to modify aspects of their Medicaid program, like benefits, premiums, and cost-sharing. Our new Medicaid Expansion Waiver Center outlines what’s in state expansion waivers and gives state advocates resources for challenging potential harmful proposals.
Great news out of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting health insurance for children. Based on analysis of data from 50 states, they found that the rate of children without health insurance has plummeted to a new record low.
As their Executive Director Joan Alker explained in her blog, the new report attributes this historic drop in the rate of uninsured children in large part to the ACA, “which for kids was building on more than a decade of success by Medicaid and CHIP working together.”
Across the country, enrollment assisters on the front lines are getting ready to help the uninsured enroll in health insurance and help people with health insurance renew their coverage. To be as efficient and effective as possible in this important work, assisters require dozens of resources at their fingertips. We have compiled some of the best resources that are essential to help enrollment assisters do their jobs.
The off-year elections in Louisiana, Kentucky, and Virginia aren’t dominating the Twitterverse like the presidential primary debates.
But the outcomes will determine the momentum of the ACA in the region that has been most resistant to expansion.
The third open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplaces is only 10 days away. Like the last enrollment cycle, enrollment assisters will be working to renew health plans with a greater number of consumers who have complex questions. They will also continue seeking new consumers who lack health insurance. This year, however, such outreach efforts may not get the boost from media coverage they received in previous years.
Yesterday, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) introduced the End Surprise Billing Act, legislation to protect health care consumers from surprise medical bills. Families USA is thrilled to endorse this legislation—we’re encouraged that Representative Doggett, along with more than 20 cosponsors, is proposing to address a common problem that affects people across the country.
Montana, the most recent state to extend its Medicaid program to more residents, is wrapping up negotiations with the federal government to determine the logistics of what this alternative expansion program will entail. Like several of the 31 states (including D.C.) that have opted to expand Medicaid, Montana chose to expand its program using an 1115 waiver. These waivers give states increased flexibility when designing their Medicaid programs.
In November, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the organization composed of insurance regulators from every state in the nation, will finalize a model law to help states ensure that consumers can get access to the right health care, at the right time, without unreasonable delay. Dubbed the Network Adequacy Model Act, this draft bill is designed to be used by any state to enact provider access standards for private health insurance plans.