About Louise Norris

Louise Norris has been writing about health insurance and healthcare reform since 2006. In addition to the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, she also writes for healthinsurance.org, medicareresources.org, Verywell, Spark by ADP, and Boost by ADP, and Gusto. Follow on twitter and facebook.

States seeking to reduce their uninsured populations must beware a Catch-22

By David M. Anderson, Charles Gaba, Louise Norris and Andrew Sprung State policymakers have been prolific and creative in putting forward measures to strengthen their ACA marketplaces. Measures enacted since 2017 or in progress now include reinsurance programs, which reduced base premiums by an average of 20% in their first year in the first seven […]

Claiming the ACA tax credit after paying full price for your health insurance

Most people know that there are premium tax credits (often referred to as premium subsidies) available for people who buy their health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado. But claiming the ACA tax credit as an advanced subsidy requires you to estimate your income for the coming year and supplying supporting documentation to verify that […]

Treating Employees Differently: Employer Contribution Requirements

Employers offering small business group health insurance benefits have flexibility treating employees differently as long as the contribution policy complies with the insurance company’s employer contribution requirements and basic non-discrimination laws (HIPAA and Section 125). Employers can contribute a flat dollar amount, or they can require employees to pay a set percentage or a set […]

Spring Is Here! Health Wonk Review

Welcome to the Spring edition of the Health Wonk Review. With condolences to our east-coast and Great Lakes friends who have been dealing with what probably seems like 47 straight months of winter. Maybe they can call it the “Spring is eventually coming” edition? We’ve got a great round-up of health care articles in this […]

State Approaches to Handling CSR Uncertainty for 2018 Premium

Joint post by: David Anderson, Charles Gaba, Louise Norris, Andrew Sprung Note: this post is a joint effort with colleagues who have closely tracked the CSR chaos induced by Trump and Republicans in Congress. Dave Anderson is a former health insurance analyst, now a health care scholar at Duke, and a blogger at Balloon Juice; Charles Gaba is […]

The Neverending Summer of Healthcare Legislation Edition of the Health Wonk Review

Throughout 2017, nearly every week has seemed like a very big deal for health care reform. But this week is especially noteworthy, with  bipartisan efforts to stabilize the individual insurance markets (cough… fund CSRs… cough), along with not one, but two major pieces of legislation unveiled on Wednesday: Senator Sanders’ single-payer bill (which garnered 16 […]

Weekend reading recommendation: The Summer Lull edition of the HWR

Peggy Salvatore has done an excellent job with this week’s edition of the Health Wonk Review, hosted at her Health System Ed blog. There’s something for everyone, and it makes for some great weekend reading. Two of my favorites in this edition are Harold Pollack’s explanation of why red states that voted for Trump would […]

2017: Made for health wonks

Joe Paduda hosted the Health Wonk Review on Friday, and it’s a must-read edition. It coincided perfectly with the release of the long-awaited, top-secret Senate GOP health care reform bill, and Joe’s edition includes an everything-you-need-to-know summary of the Senate bill, written by the inimitable Tim Jost and Sara Rosenbaum. In related news, Joe is […]

IRS 2018 HSA Contribution Limits, Minimum Deductibles & Maximum Out-of-Pocket

The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2017-37 last week, specifying the IRS 2018 HSA contribution limits, along with the minimum deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket exposure for HSA-qualified plans. IRS 2018 HSA contribution limits * If you have individual coverage under an HSA-qualified plan: $3,450 (up from $3,400 in 2017) If you have family coverage under an […]

Groundhog Zombie Goes Back to the Future: AHCA Vote Day Health Wonk Review

Yesterday was a bit of a banner day in health care reform circles, with the passage of the AHCA in the House of Representatives. The vote came less than 24 hours after the final amendment was added to the bill, and before the CBO had scored the last three amendments that were added. It’s now […]

Health care reform: What’s next in Colorado?

2017 has been a whirlwind year for health care reform. As rate filing season draws near, there is still considerable uncertainty surrounding the future of the ACA and what lies ahead for health care reform. Here’s a summary of where things stand in Colorado: Failed: Bill to extend premium help to people above 400 percent […]

Pre-Passover edition of the HWR at InsureBlog

Hank Stern has done an outstanding job with the Health Wonk Review this week; don’t miss his pre-Passover edition. Hank has factoids about Passover interspersed with ten excellent articles from some of our favorite health wonks. Thanks for hosting, Hank, and Happy Passover!

AHCA: The Aye or Nay? Edition of the Health Wonk Review

Seven years ago today, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, ushering in a host of reforms for the U.S. health care system. And today, House Republicans are planning to vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would repeal many of the ACA’s spending-related provisions and implement replacements for some aspects of […]

What do the proposed HHS regulations mean for Colorado’s individual market?

HHS Secretary Tom Price was confirmed by the Senate last week, and the agency wasted no time in drafting new proposed regulations under his leadership. The new regulations are intended to stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets. The comment period is only three weeks (it closes on March 7, 2017), which is […]

Health Wonks Wonder… Will ACA Repeal Really Happen?

Steve Anderson hosted this week’s “#Alternative_Facts” edition of the Health Wonk Review, at medicareresources.org. It’s an excellent edition, and each entry in framed in terms of an #alternative_fact… of course, the alternative-ness depends a bit on your perspective. My favorite? Joe Paduda’s assessment that ACA repeal isn’t actually going to happen soon, and might not […]

Health Wonks know: Words Matter

Julie Ferguson hosted the “Words Matter” edition of the Health Wonk Review this week, at Workers’ Comp Insider. Julie did an excellent job, as always, and there’s plenty of good stuff in this edition of the HWR. Some of my favorites are: Joe Paduda’s at-a-glance summary of the direction the GOP is likely headed in terms […]

Puppies and kittens and the future of healthcare reform

Hank Stern hosted the Health Wonk Review this week, with a theme — Puppies and Kittens — designed to unite us around something we can all agree on, after a rough election season. There are tons of great entries in this edition of the HWR. Since I’m particularly focused on the future of healthcare reform, […]

Don’t Get Caught By The ACA Individual Mandate Penalty – It’s much higher than it used to be

This post was originally written in March 2014, but was updated in November 2015 to reflect the changes in the penalty calculation for 2016, and again in November 2016 to address the penalty for 2017. The penalty in 2017 will remain unchanged from 2016, but it’s considerably higher than it was in 2014 or 2015, […]

You’re eligible for cost-sharing subsidies. Does that mean you should always pick a silver plan?

A recent article published by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) caught my attention on Twitter today. One part of the article stood out, and I wanted to address it here. The article states that “Anyone who purchases insurance on Connect for Health Colorado would be wise to check eligibility for assistance and, […]

Election Season Edition of the HWR

Peggy Salvator hosted this week’s Health Wonk Review yesterday, at her Health System Ed blog – be sure to check it out, if you haven’t already. Peggy did a great job of hosting, and there are lots of great entries. My favorites from this edition are from Health Affairs (all about the future legislative improvements […]

New Benefits in Colorado for 2017 – Bariatric Surgery, Infertility, Chiro?

Open enrollment is just around the corner, and you may have started receiving information from your health insurer regarding changes to your premium and coverage for 2017. I maintain a detailed overview of Colorado’s exchange at healthinsurance.org, so if you have questions, you might find answers there. But after receiving our own family’s renewal packet […]

Pre-Election Health Wonk Musings

Joe Paduda hosted last week’s Health Wonk Review at Managed Care Matters. It’s a great edition, with excellent articles from several of our favorite health wonks. I highly recommend Brad Wright’s article, detailing how the ACA has expanded coverage. My own article in this edition explains why so many health insurance carriers are leaving the exchanges at the […]

The “We’re Ten!” Edition of the Health Wonk Review

Welcome to the Health Wonk Review! The ten-year anniversary of our first blog post here at the Colorado Health Insurance Insider was earlier this month. I didn’t notice it at the time, but as I read through the entries for this edition of the Health Wonk Review, I was struck by how many changes we’ve witnessed […]

Pregnancy and Special Enrollment Periods

A year ago, I wrote an article about a Change.org petition in Colorado that was trying to get pregnancy added to the list of things that make people eligible for a special enrollment period during which they can enroll in a health insurance plan. Nothing has changed in Colorado on this issue since then, but I wanted […]

Prescription Drug Coverage: Terms and Concepts You Need to Know

What is a drug formulary? How do prescription tiers work? If you’re shopping for health insurance and take prescription drugs, you likely have questions about the prescription coverage offered by the various plans. The good news is that all of the plans available today have to cover your pre-existing conditions. They can’t deny your application […]