On April 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released its final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019, referred to here as the Payment Notice. This is an annual rule that includes a wide range of policy and operational changes for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, insurance market reforms, and premium stabilization programs. Concurrent with the 2019 Payment Notice, HHS also released sub-regulatory guidance, including the final annual letter to issuers, key dates for health plans participating in the individual and small-group markets in 2019, and an expansion of the circumstances under which individuals can qualify for exemptions to the ACA’s individual mandate. This expert perspective focuses on major provisions of the Payment Notice and accompanying guidance documents that require state decision-making or have other significant implications for states.
Webinar on April 20, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released on April 9, 2018 its annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, a collection of policies governing the ACA’s marketplaces, insurance reforms, and premium stabilization programs. The first such annual notice issued under the Trump Administration, it contains a number of provisions that require state officials to make important decisions on short notice that will affect plan benefits, premiums, and marketplace operations. State Health and Value Strategies is hosting a webinar, together with experts Sabrina Corlette and Justin Giovannelli from Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, Joel Ario from Manatt Health and Jason Levitis, to help participants untangle the rule and its many implications for states.
The nation’s opioid epidemic claimed more than 42,000 lives in 2016, and more than 2 million people in the United States have an opioid use disorder (OUD)—with nearly another 10 million at risk due to misuse of these drugs. Yet, only 1 in 5 people suffering from an OUD receive treatment. The federal government has responded to the crisis by declaring a public health emergency and making over $500 million of OUD-targeted funding available to states last year. While critical, these dollars (and the programs they fund) pale in comparison to the scale and scope of resources the Medicaid program brings to states to combat the opioid epidemic and other substance use disorders (SUD). Indeed, today, Medicaid covers more than 1 in 3 people with an OUD, and program spending for people with an OUD in 2013 (before Medicaid expansion in many states) was more than $9 billion. In this issue brief, data from three states—New Hampshire, Ohio and West Virginia—highlight Medicaid’s role as the linchpin in states’ efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.