2017 Innovation Waivers: The Future is Right Around the Corner Webinar
Deborah Bachrach, Michael Kolber, and Joel Ario, Manatt Health Solutions
Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act permits states to request innovation waivers from the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury of certain ACA requirements, with waivers first effective in 2017. This waiver process has attracted some attention from thought leaders, but the states, the requesting parties on any waiver applications, have been focused on more pressing ACA implementation issues. That is changing as states begin to consider their longer term goals for health reform and specifically the opportunities afforded by section 1332 waivers.
In order to help states jump start their thinking about 1332 waivers, experts from Manatt Health Solutions presented the regulatory framework for those waivers and offered some examples that illustrate the broad range of potential waivers and the guardrails that ensure waivers continue to meet the goals of the ACA. This webinar addressed which ACA provisions are waivable, including the individual mandate, the employer mandate, essential health benefits, and exchange standards; how the coverage and fiscal guardrails might be applied by HHS and Treasury, which have yet to provide much guidance beyond a regulation that defines the waiver application process; and how 1332 waivers might be combined with Medicaid 1115 waivers to better achieve state goals across programs. The webinar slides can be found at the “download” button and a webinar recording can be found here.
As the United States enters its seventh month of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, available data show distribution efforts have not produced equitable outcomes. This expert perspective details how state leaders can use administrative, policy, and funding levers to support community partners in improving access points, addressing structural barriers to vaccination, and establishing rapid data collection and evaluation efforts for equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution solutions.
With the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), more people than ever before are eligible for financial help to pay for a health insurance plan. Estimates are that on average, 4 out of 5 customers can now find a health plan for less than $10 a month—a remarkable step to provide more affordable coverage, for more Americans. To promote these significant savings, Marketplaces are launching integrated and innovative outreach campaigns—including tapping into existing public health and COVID-19 vaccination efforts—to reach residents with this important information and get them enrolled. As vaccine distribution is increasingly going local, state marketplaces are tapping into trusted partners like local community centers, faith groups, and small businesses as well as coordinating with state and federal agencies to combine education and outreach to drive enrollment. As Marketplaces look for ways to ensure equitable outreach and enrollment, especially as our nation recovers from COVID-19, this expert perspective highlights a range of communications and outreach strategies to align with vaccine education and distribution.
The rollout of vaccines designed to end the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has begun in earnest across the United States. Currently, each state is responsible for determining how to allocate, distribute, track, and report its vaccine allotment from the federal government, although the federal government is expected to take on a larger role under a new Biden administration. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color have been disproportionately impacted by both higher risks of infection and poorer health outcomes, and many are concerned that an inequitable or inefficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine may further widen health inequities among these populations. One way to help ensure the equitable administration of COVID-19 vaccine is to track vaccine administration disaggregated for key subpopulations, such as gender, race and ethnicity, and geography (e.g., urban vs. rural). This expert perspective reviews the data states are currently publicly reporting related to vaccine administration and provides an interactive map that explores the extent to which all 50 states are reporting vaccine administration data breakdowns by age, gender, race, ethnicity, provider type, and level of geography. The expert perspective also discusses what current data sources states are using to provide this information and provides an overview of options states can consider to collect information about the administration of COVID-19 vaccine in populations via survey data.