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.
CMS Guidance Authorizes Medicaid Demonstration Applications That Cap Federal Funding: Implications for States
Allison Orris, Patricia Boozang, and Julian Polaris, Manatt Health
On January 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL) inviting states to apply for Section 1115 demonstration projects that would impose caps on federal Medicaid funding for the adult expansion and some other adult populations in exchange for new programmatic flexibility. Referred to as “Healthy Adult Opportunity” by CMS, these demonstrations would allow states to choose between two types of capped funding arrangements: a per capita cap or an aggregate cap (i.e., a block grant). Our colleagues at Manatt Health examined the guidance in detail and put together an issue brief that reviews the key features of the proposed capped funding demonstrations and highlights the considerations for states.