With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) ninth open enrollment period (OEP) set to launch in less than a month, the ACA Marketplaces are seeing record enrollment numbers with more generous subsidies, new carrier competition, and a relatively stable rating environment. At the same time, there is uncertainty with the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and medical costs trending upward as the economy recovers, albeit at an uneven pace. These trends have made for a challenging rate review process in the 47 states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.) that conduct their own ACA rate reviews of carrier-proposed rates using federal review standards. State announcements of 2022 rates have trickled out at a slower pace than in prior years, and it is likely that many states will not publish their approved rates until the beginning of open enrollment. As always, state rate results vary widely and, even within states, there often are substantial variations among carriers and across different regions in geographically diverse states. With these caveats, this expert perspective highlights some observations about the factors that are impacting rate changes this year and the kind of variations that exist among states.
Future of the Children’s Health Insurance Program: Considerations for States
Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is set to expire on September 30th, raising multiple issues for states. State Health and Value Strategies, in partnership with technical experts from Manatt Health, hosted a webinar on Friday September 8th to discuss key considerations for states as Congress debates CHIP reauthorization. Topics included the funding level and duration of the extension, maintenance of the 23 point FMAP bump, maintenance of effort requirements, and operational implications of reauthorization timing.