The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law on March 11, 2021 as a signature effort to assist in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic downturn. Included as part of the sweeping legislation is a program to fully subsidize COBRA coverage for six months starting in April of 2021. This expert perspective provides a short overview of COBRA and mini-COBRA, the major elements of the ARPA COBRA Assistance program, and considerations for state policymakers related to the program.
Assessing a New Option: The Feasibility of Contracting With a Single Firm to Build and Operate a State’s Marketplace
Jon Kingsdale, Wakely Consulting Group
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the design of state health insurance exchanges has evolved to include several distinct models. This evolution has led to the possibility that a state’s exchange development and operations could be delegated to a private vendor. States operating their own state-based marketplaces (SBMs) may begin to consider other options as they confront budget challenges and look to streamline operations. This issue brief, developed by Wakely Consulting Group, assesses the feasibility of a state delegating the development and operation of its SBM to the fullest extent possible to a private exchange operator and offers potential advantages for states that may be considering such an approach.