In 2019, the Washington legislature enacted a bill requiring insurers on the state’s health insurance exchange to offer plans with standardized benefit designs, beginning in 2021. Colorado and Maryland are considering similar requirements. As these and other states consider the option of standardized health plans, they can benefit from the experiences of California, the District of Columbia (D.C.), Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Vermont, all of which require insurers to offer standardized benefit designs. This Expert Perspective outlines benefits and risks of plan standardization, and raises critical questions that states will need to consider, and offers a decision roadmap for states implementing a standardized benefit design requirement.
Health Insurance Literacy Memo and Resources
Elizabeth Lukanen, State Health Access Data Assistance Center
While millions of Americans have newly gained health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is evidence that coverage alone does not necessarily translate into access to health care. This memo, prepared by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), provides background information on health insurance literacy, summarizes the research around current consumer knowledge, and offers recommendations for marketplaces on how to build on it.
Additionally, the State Network has compiled a library of health insurance literacy materials developed by four marketplaces (below). These resources are intended as examples of what marketplaces can provide to consumers and to groups working on improving health insurance literacy and boosting enrollment.