In 2019, the Washington legislature enacted a bill requiring insurers on the state’s health insurance exchange to offer plans with standardized benefit designs, beginning in 2021. Colorado and Maryland are considering similar requirements. As these and other states consider the option of standardized health plans, they can benefit from the experiences of California, the District of Columbia (D.C.), Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Vermont, all of which require insurers to offer standardized benefit designs. This Expert Perspective outlines benefits and risks of plan standardization, and raises critical questions that states will need to consider, and offers a decision roadmap for states implementing a standardized benefit design requirement.
Consumer Assistance Resource Guide: Minimum Essential Coverage
Manatt Health Solutions
Early evidence from across the nation suggests that consumer assisters are playing a vital role in helping people enroll in the new coverage options made possible by the Affordable Care Act. The following resource guide on Minimum Essential Coverage is part of a Consumer Assistance Resource Guide series developed to help consumer assisters answer some of the most common eligibility and enrollment questions.
Individuals who are eligible for health insurance that is considered “Minimum Essential Coverage,” or MEC, are not eligible for Advance Premium Tax Credits or Cost Sharing Reductions through the Marketplace and may be subject to a penalty under the shared responsibility requirement if they do not enroll in the available MEC coverage. This guide, prepared by Manatt Health Solutions, describes the types of employer-sponsored, public health insurance or COBRA coverage considered MEC. The guide also explains the potential impact a change in MEC coverage during the year could have on eligibility determinations.