Recently media outlets have reported that the government is having trouble verifying the income information of as many as 2 million people enrolled in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. As a result, they say, consumers may be getting the wrong level of tax subsidy to help them pay monthly premiums. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have characterized these discrepancies in income data as yet another flaw in the new health law.
New Survey Finds That Most Consumers Oppose Penalties in Employee Health Insurance Wellness Programs
Earlier today, the Kaiser Family Foundation released findings from a new survey on consumer sentiment around the role of employee wellness programs. The poll found that, while 76 percent of the public supports employers offering wellness programs that promote healthy behaviors, the majority of consumers (75 percent) are opposed to employers charging higher premiums if workers don’t meet the health goals of their workplace wellness program.
Quality, Not Size: How to Ensure Health Insurance Marketplace Plans Have Adequate Provider Networks for Consumers
For many years prior to the Affordable Care Act, we’ve encountered stories from consumers who have trouble finding health care providers who are in their insurance company’s network or who can’t get accurate information about which providers are in their network. Now, provider network issues are more contentious than ever.
Challenging Health Insurance Premium Rate Increases: Part 5 – Involving Consumers in the Rate Review Process
This is the fifth in our series of blogs that share tips and best practices from state consumer advocates about how to effectively participate in the health insurance rate review process.
This post describes how consumer feedback can keep health insurers’ premium rate increases in check, particularly when those consumers explain why the increases are unaffordable.
Each month, we will report on selected health care stories and trends that are shaping the direction and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“How much does it cost?” is the first question that consumers ask when comparing health insurance plans. In the coming months, they’ll have an answer as health insurance companies begin announcing premium rates for 2015. The news from this past month is encouraging—proposed rate increases for the individual market in 2015 could be more modest than what we expected to see in some states.
Challenging Health Insurance Premium Rate Increases: Part 4 - How to Challenge the Amounts Health Insurers Keep for Administrative Expenses, Reserves, and Surpluses
This blog examines how advocates can challenge the amounts insurers keep on hand for administrative expenses, reserves, and surpluses. Health insurers set their premium rates to cover two primary categories of expenses: future medical costs and administrative costs for processing claims. In this post, we’ll explore how, as part of the rate review process, you can evaluate what insurers are spending on administrative costs, as well as the amounts they keep on hand as reserves (to pay future claims) and surpluses (the money left over).
Challenging Health Insurance Premium Rate Increases: Part 3 - Analyzing Insurers’ Medical Cost Assumptions
This is the third in our series of blogs that share tips and best practices from state consumer advocates about how to effectively participate in the health insurance rate review process. Previously, we shared advice about how you can prepare for rate review and first steps to take after insurers release proposed rate increases. The fourth blog will explain how to challenge the amounts insurers keep for administrative expenses and surplus. And our final blog will focus on strategies to involve consumers in rate review.
Challenging Health Insurance Premium Rate Increases: Part 2 - First Steps after Proposed Premium Rates Come Out
This is the second in our series of blogs that share tips and best practices from state consumer advocates about how to effectively participate in the health insurance rate review process. Previously, we shared advice about how you can prepare for the numerous state rate review public comment periods that are coming up in May, June, and beyond. Our next blog explains how you can challenge an insurer’s assumptions about changes in medical costs. The fourth blog will explain how health insurers keep funds for administrative expenses and surplus. And our final blog will focus on strategies you can use to involve consumers in rate review.
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.
This month we celebrate Mother’s Day. And here at Families USA, we can think of no better way to honor moms everywhere than by making sure moms, their children, and their families have access to affordable health coverage. This year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health coverage is available to more moms and the people they care about than ever before. Luckily, even though the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period has ended, enrollment for Medicaid and CHIP doesn’t end with open enrollment.