Clear Choices Congressional Staff Briefing

The Clear Choices Campaign (CCC) invites you to attend a luncheon briefing on key issues related to the health insurance exchanges for the 2016 open enrollment period. The briefing will explore the consumer-facing features of the 2016 insurance exchange websites and make policy recommendations to improve the online plan enrollment experience. The briefing will also promote the release of the CCC White Paper on best practices in these areas.

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Press Release: CMS Revamps HealthCare.gov

Washington, D.C. (October 26, 2015) -- Last Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a fact sheet detailing new features and improvements to HealthCare.gov. With Open Enrollment 2016 just around the corner, the revamp aims to provide consumers with more information about their plan choices. Consumer-industry coalition Clear Choices supports robust improvements to HealthCare.gov that will aid the consumer decision-making process and enhance the online plan enrollment experience.

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Health Affairs: Promoting Transparency and Clear Choices in Health Care

By: Joel White

A funny thing is happening at the intersection of culture and health, and it's spilling over into politics and policy- a vigorous demand for transparency in health care.

Various forces are driving this demand. Even amid the current "slowdown" in national health expenditures- spending and premiums experienced record low growth in 2012- household costs have continued to grow to two to three times faster than real incomes. Looking forward, health spending as a share of GDP will grow more rapidly over the next ten years than it did in either of the preceding two decades.

Growing Costs for Consumers and Businesses

Last year, says the consulting firm Milliman, combined insurance and out-of-pocket spending in an average employer health plan for the typical family of four totaled $23,215- up from "just" $9,435 in 2002. For those newly insured or with new coverage on the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges, a typical Silver plan deducitble is running about $3,000. That means that families still need tools that will help them shop for high-quality, affordable health care services.

So even as policy makers crow that health costs are growing at their slowest rate in years, consumers and businesses are saying that affordability of health coverage is the number-one challenge they face...Read more here >>

A closed loophole in Affordable Care Act will cut costs N.J. residents pay for prescription drugs | Opinion

By: Lisa Schill, New Jersey Star-Ledger

More than 200,000 Garden State residents have signed up for health coverage through the insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act. That figure is encouraging, but the quality of coverage they're receiving is not. The available plans often strap enrollees with hundreds or even thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Fortunately, federal regulators just stepped in to address this shortcoming in the Affordable Care Act. They have issued a new ruling that ensures enrollees in New Jersey's insurance exchange plans get the protection they deserve and the medication they need.

Across the country, people were unknowingly enrolling in insurance plans that conceal the exorbitant out-of-pocket costs they will have to pay for medications. That's because these medicines come with unaffordable "co-insurance," which requires patients to pay a set slice of the product price- no matter how high it is... Read more here >>