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.
Final Public Charge Rule: Analysis and Potential Implications
On September 3, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies program hosted a webinar on the public charge final rule, facilitated by experts at Manatt Health. On August 12, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final version of its public charge rule, which will be published in the Federal Register later this week and will go into effect on October 15. The public charge rule will change how DHS determines whether immigrants—when seeking admission to the U.S., an extension of their stay, or status change to become a legal permanent resident—are “likely at any time to become a public charge” (i.e., dependent on the government for financial support). The webinar reviewed the final rule, highlighted changes from the proposed rule, and explored the rule’s potential impacts on consumers, states and providers. Speakers highlighted the key ways the proposed rule departs from current guidance, with a particular focus on the implications for Medicaid and other health-related public benefits, as well as communications and messaging. In addition, New York provided one example of how a state has engaged its assistors to help communicate potential implications of the rule.
SHVS consolidated the questions from the webinar to produce a Frequently Asked Questions.