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.
Coverage Alternatives for Low and Modest Income Consumers
Manatt Health Solutions
To ensure a seamless system of coverage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires a single streamlined application for all Insurance Affordability Programs (IAPs) and a coordinated process for IAP eligibility and enrollment. States looking beyond the eligibility and enrollment process can utilize this chart to explore different mechanisms to address the cost-sharing cliff in the Exchange and also to promote continuity of coverage and care as consumers transition across IAPs. The following chart, developed by Manatt Health Solutions, provides a side-by-side analysis of coverage alternatives under state and federal consideration including: the Basic Health Program (BHP); the Bridge Plan; Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Premium and Cost-Sharing Support; maintaining existing Medicaid expansions above 133 percent FPL; and Premium Assistance. These options are compared against subsidized QHP coverage available under the ACA.