Revisiting the Basic Health Program
This issue brief provides a refresher on the Basic Health Program structure as outlined in the ACA, lessons learned from the two states that have implemented the program to date, and considerations for further evolution of the program under legislative or executive action.
Health Equity and COVID-19: Tracking and Taking Action to Address Disparities
On Thursday, May 7, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar that reported on how states are tracking the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and provided a framework for states to examine their COVID-19 response efforts to yield better outcomes for such populations. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, it has become increasingly clear that vulnerable populations are disproportionately impacted. Unsurprisingly, these disparately affected groups are the same ones that have long experienced stark health disparities, such as communities of color, low income populations, and those that reside in congregate living facilities (nursing homes, jails, shelters, etc.). During the webinar, technical experts from Health Equity Solutions and SHADAC shared findings from recent SHVS publications.
State Medicaid Buy-Ins: Key Questions to Consider
On Thursday, April 25, State Health and Value Strategies, with Manatt Health, hosted a webinar for states on six key questions that state policymakers need to consider when choosing a buy-in model, designing its features, and introducing a Medicaid buy-in program. Lawmakers across the country are considering “Medicaid buy-in” or public option programs to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance market and offer a coverage option that is more affordable and accessible than current options in the individual and employer markets. The concept of Medicaid buy-in/public option is evolving, encompassing the original Medicaid-based proposals and extending to other programs through which states can leverage government bargaining power to offer a more affordable coverage option, like state employee health plans or a Basic Health Plan. During the webinar, speakers from Manatt Health discussed considerations related to (1) goal setting, (2) sources of cost-savings, (3) potential impacts on existing insurance markets, (4) federal 1332 waiver considerations, (5) implementation capacity, and (6) key steps for implementation. Additionally, representatives from Colorado, Connecticut, and Washington shared the status of efforts in their respective states.
Click here to access webinar slides
Application Template for Section 1332 Reinsurance Waiver
UPDATED 2/19/2019–State Health and Value Strategies, in partnership with health tax expert Jason Levitis, has created a template to help states develop an application for a state innovation waiver under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) section 1332 to implement a state reinsurance program. Section 1332 gives states flexibility to waive certain ACA provisions and receive federal funding to implement state-based health care policies. Reinsurance programs are a proven method of reducing premiums and promoting competition and market stability. This template seeks to make application development as simple as possible by adapting language from the successful Oregon application and indicating where elements need to be filled in or otherwise customized.
State Reinsurance Programs: Design, Funding, and 1332 Waiver Considerations for States
Faced with a fluid federal regulatory environment, many states continue to encounter challenges in stabilizing their individual health insurance markets, including large premium increases and declining insurer participation. One solution to continued market instability is a state-based reinsurance program similar to the federal program that reduced premiums by more than 10 percent per year from 2014 to 2016. The brief provides a roadmap of policy, program design, and financing considerations for states that are contemplating development of a state-based reinsurance program under 1332 waiver authority.
Medicaid Buy-in: State Options and Design Considerations
In recent months, several proposals have been introduced at both the federal and state levels that would permit people above Medicaid eligibility levels to “buy in” to Medicaid or would leverage the Medicaid program to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. In this webinar, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) program, together with technical assistance experts from Manatt Health, examined the central considerations that a state must take into account when developing a Medicaid buy-in proposal; the primary models for state-administered Medicaid buy-in proposals, and the administrative considerations and authorities needed for each model. The webinar also reviewed Section 1332 waiver authority and related deficit neutrality and pass-through funding implications that states will want to consider as they craft their buy-in proposals. We also highlighted states’ current efforts to develop buy-in initiatives.
Medicaid Buy-In: State Options, Design Considerations and Section 1332 Waiver Implications
States continue to identify and pursue strategies to further reduce the number of uninsured, to make coverage more affordable for consumers and to improve access to care. Several proposals have been introduced at both the federal and state levels that would permit people above Medicaid eligibility levels to “buy in” to Medicaid or would leverage the Medicaid program to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. This issue brief presents two possible models for a Medicaid buy-in program for states, and details the design considerations and authorities needed to implement each model.
Planning Ahead: Preparing for 2019 Plan Year Reinsurance Waivers
With three states using Section 1332 waivers to help fund reinsurance programs for the 2018 plan year, many more state officials are considering the model for their state in future years. Having worked directly with the 2018 reinsurance states, State Health and Value Strategies is pleased to present the following to-do list for states as they consider reinsurance for 2019.
1332 Waivers: The Current State of Play
Continued uncertainty surrounding federal legislative action affecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have led many states to reconsider the option of Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers. These waivers allow states broad flexibility to redesign the coverage provisions of the ACA according to certain statutory guidelines. Given the renewed interest in 1332 waivers, the State Network hosted a webinar for state officials featuring the experts at Manatt Health.
1332 State Innovation Waivers: Looking Ahead to Broader 1332 Waivers
The State Network 1332 Waivers Affinity Group continued with a presentation on potentially broader reforms that states may pursue through the Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers process. This discussion followed a prior presentation focused on narrower, more targeted reforms that several states are seeking to implement through the waiver process. This presentation, prepared by the State Network team at Manatt Health, included information on waiver considerations in California and Minnesota.