On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP), a wide-ranging package of health care and economic measures responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The ARP includes a broad expansion of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) main health insurance subsidy, the premium tax credit (PTC), the first major expansion of the health care reform law since its passage. This piece highlights the policymaking considerations that states must account for in light of the PTC expansion and uncertainty about future federal action. A key theme that emerges is that states will benefit from approaches that give them the flexibility to adjust policies year by year as the federal landscape develops.
Establishing Performance Standards for Hospital-based Presumptive Eligibility
Manatt Health Solutions – Jocelyn Guyer
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows hospitals to use preliminary information to enroll people who appear eligible for Medicaid into coverage on a temporary basis. The goal of this “presumptive eligibility” (PE) option for hospitals is to quickly and efficiently enroll eligible people into Medicaid while insuring immediate health care costs are covered. While presumptive eligibility is not a new concept in Medicaid, the ACA for the first time gives hospitals – rather than states – the authority to decide whether to participate in PE. This issue brief, prepared by Manatt Health Solutions (Manatt), describes the flexibility available to states to establish training and performance standards for hospitals conducting PE determinations, and discusses approaches states may want to consider as they develop standards. It is based on Manatt’s review of federal law and regulations, as well as interviews with several state officials and other experts from states that currently operate hospital-based presumptive eligibility programs