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Posts by Tara Straw

Use Caution When Shopping Outside

October 31, 2019

Consumers can shop for 2020 health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period of November 1 to December 15 but, if they use enrollment pathways other than, they risk choosing subpar coverage and missing out on financial help for which they’re...

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States Should Act to Avoid Insurance Market Disruption, Consumer Confusion Under New Rule

July 24, 2019

States should protect consumers from a new Trump Administration rule that expands health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) — which, as we’ve explained, could raise individual market premiums and cause confusion and disruption for people with employer plans — by blocking...

Doctor and Patient Going Over Form

New Rule Could Mean Consumer Confusion, Higher Premiums in Marketplace

June 21, 2019

The Trump Administration has finalized a rule to expand health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that it predicts will shift, by 2029, 7 million people from traditional group health plans to individual plans that people can buy with help from a limited employer cash contribution. This sizable shift...

Person contemplating bill

Lawmakers Can Prevent Surprise Medical Bills, Lower Health Costs

June 11, 2019

At a hearing tomorrow, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will discuss a proposal from Chairman Frank Pallone and Ranking Republican Member Greg Walden to protect patients from large bills when they unexpectedly or unknowingly receive care from an out...

Health - Ambulance Emergency Room

Public Health Insurance Option Could Cut Costs, Boost Financial Assistance

April 15, 2019

A new bill from Senators Michael Bennet and Tim Kaine would leverage Medicare’s provider network and payment rates to create a lower-cost public health insurance plan (i.e., a “public option”) in the individual and small-group markets, and use the resulting federal savings to expand premium tax credits to help people afford coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. Called the...

Stethoscope on money

“Direct Enrollment” in Marketplace Coverage Poses Risks for Consumers

March 15, 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed new rules that would expand “direct enrollment,” in which consumers enroll in marketplace coverage by using the websites of insurers and brokers instead of...

Health form and pencil

Many Marketplace Consumers Eligible for Zero-Premium Coverage

December 5, 2018

More than ever, low- and moderate-income consumers can find good deals for health coverage — and may have their premiums covered entirely by tax credits — if they sign up before open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) marketplaces ends on December 15. Marketplace premiums fell slightly overall for 2019, and many people can find affordable options with various levels of cost-sharing...

Health Insurance Form

Costly House Bill Would Likely Increase Number of Uninsured

September 12, 2018

The House is expected to vote on a bill this week that would weaken the requirement that employers offer health insurance, raising the number of uninsured and adding $58 billion to deficits over the...

Health and Money

House Health Bills Would Cut Taxes for Wealthy and Corporations, Do Little for Consumers

July 24, 2018

The House will consider three health-related bills this week that would mainly benefit high-income taxpayers and corporations while doing little to help moderate-income families or the uninsured.  The bills would raise contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and expand the...

Baby at Doctor's Appointment

Ways and Means Bills Would Expand HSA Tax Breaks, Weaken Insurance Marketplaces

July 11, 2018

The House Ways and Means Committee is marking up several bills this week that would raise contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and expand the allowable uses of these accounts, at a cost of $41 billion over ten years, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates.  As we’ve...

Health Saving Accounts (HSAs) Mostly Benefit High-Income Taxpayers