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.
Terms and Definitions Used by States Reporting on Affordable Care Act (ACA) Enrollment
State Health Access Data Assistance Center and the State Health Exchange Leadership Network
During the initial open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government and states operating state-based exchanges conducted various types of reporting on key indicators of interest to policymakers and the public. There was variation in the definitions employed by different states, and this is expected to continue into the future. As the second open enrollment period nears, several states have expressed interest in better understanding how their counterparts are defining and using key terms in public reporting. This resource, developed by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) and the State Health Exchange Leadership Network represents a compendium of the terms and definitions most commonly used in the first open enrollment period, and is intended for use by states both for planning future reporting and for facilitating cross-state understanding and comparison.