Explains how reference pricing programs, when implemented in consumer-friendly ways, can minimize price variation and encourage consumers to shop for care based on price and quality.
Although the Affordable Care Act now offers individuals greatly expanded access to health coverage, simply having an insurance card does not guarantee access to high-quality health care.
As we discussed in our post last week, high deductibles in health insurance plans can create barriers to necessary care for low- and moderate-income consumers and are particularly concerning in silver plans, which are most popular among this group.
Health insurers can create silver plans that have lower upfront cost-sharing than high deductible plans, but analysis suggests that many insurers are not doing so.
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.
Federal funding for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expires in September 2015. At a time when we are expanding health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, we must also ensure that CHIP—which, as of June 2013, provided health coverage to 5.7 million low-income children—continues well beyond next year. If Congress does not extend CHIP in 2015, millions of children will be left without affordable health insurance.
Every year at tax time, more than 2 million married taxpayers file returns separately from their spouse. Usually, consumers who are legally married are required to file a joint tax return with their spouse in order to receive financial assistance to lower the cost of buying health insurance through the marketplace. However, for some taxpayers, such as survivors of domestic violence, filing taxes jointly with a spouse may not be an option, as getting in contact with a spouse may be traumatic, dangerous, or prohibited by a restraining order.
Congressman Paul Ryan released his budget proposal today for Fiscal Year 2015, outlining the funding and policy priorities for House Republicans. As in past years, this budget cuts a large chunk of health care funding, causing irreparable harm to millions of Americans who rely on Medicare, Medicaid, and provisions under the Affordable Care Act to stay healthy.
On March 5, the Department of the Treasury and IRS issued final rules on how employers report their employees’ health insurance. This was the last of a series of rules needed for implementing the requirement that large employers provide health insurance to their workers, or pay a penalty if they do not.
Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $67 million in grants to 105 organizations to hire navigators and help consumers enroll in health insurance marketplace plans.
These navigators and assisters have played an invaluable role to millions of people who have signed up so far. Now, the federal government must prepare for the next round of funding.
Enrollment workers wear many hats, but one of the most important aspects of their job is helping consumers choose a plan that meets both their financial and health care needs. With all the different variables involved, it can be a daunting task. To help, our Enrollment Assister Network held a webinar to discuss how to help consumers understand and compare health plans.