CHW cosponsors health insurance exchanges conference at the University of Pennsylvania

Thursday, Apr 23, 2015
by Brian Shott

Leaders from public health insurance exchanges came together with academic researchers and experts from across the health care industry at a recent conference cosponsored by the Center for Health and Wellbeing and hosted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

Heather Howard and Dan Meuse of the State Health Reform Assistance Network,  housed at the Center for Health & Wellbeing, participated in panel discussions at the Third Annual Health Insurance Marketplace Conference, focusing on the role of health insurance exchanges following the conclusion of the second open enrollment period (OEP) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Heather moderated a panel on “Insights from the Second OEP,” during which officials from four state-based exchanges described some of the successes of the recent open enrollment period, while also highlighting ongoing challenges and the steps that they are taking toward continued improvement in functionality and consumer assistance.

In addition to providing an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning among state officials, the conference also allowed researchers to present their findings and discuss potentially significant areas for further research.  Specifically, while participating in a panel on “Achievable Goals for 2016,” Dan mentioned possible areas for research, including analyses of exchange enrollment performance, as well as potential examinations of the consumer experience with the interaction between financial assistance available through the exchanges and the income tax filing process.

Other topics discussed during the event included panels on exchange sustainability, the breadth of networks offered in exchange plans, and opportunities for future innovations, such as enhanced decision support tools to ensure that consumers are making optimal choices for their health coverage needs.

Participants in the conference continuously highlighted the evolution of the discussion topics over the past three years, with the agenda now reflecting the remarkable strides that exchanges have made in helping consumers to realize the goal of affordable health coverage.  The conference afforded attendees an opportunity to learn from past experience while looking toward the future.