Private Insurance and Health Insurance Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act made significant changes to insurance markets that aim to increase access and availability of private health insurance for consumers. Community Catalyst works with state and federal consumer health advocates to advance the implementation of strong consumer protections in insurance markets, as well as the creation of Marketplaces that provide health plans with robust benefits and clear information about those plans.

Our main areas of focus are on insurance protections for consumers, particularly components of the Affordable Care Act that prioritize consumers’ access to insurance. The law requires insurers to cover key health services and charge fair rates regardless of gender, preexisting conditions, and age. We closely monitor on issues such as the medical loss ratio, Essential Health Benefits and premium rate review. This project supports state consumer health advocates’ work in implementing strong rules and engaging consumers to ensure private health insurance is fair, accessible and affordable.

Our priorities for developing and sustaining health insurance Marketplaces include: high quality health plan options; easy to understand comparisons; one-on-one assistance in choosing a health plan; a seamless enrollment system and protections for vulnerable populations. We monitor the progress and development of State-based, Partnership and Federally-facilitated Marketplaces across the country.

This area of work encourages advocacy at the state level and supports relationship building with state departments of insurance and Marketplace boards. In addition, we help to identify opportunities for coalitions to advance consumer protections through storybanking and working with media to spread the word about private insurance benefits for consumers.

The goal of this project is to coordinate efforts of diverse organizations and stakeholders to develop and implement state and locally based outreach, enrollment and education campaigns to inform consumers of their health coverage options and strengthen implementation of the ACA.

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