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.
How States Can Use Measurement as a Foundation for Tackling Health Disparities in Medicaid Managed Care
Kate Reinhalter Bazinsky and Michael Bailit, Bailit Health
Many people in America face segregation, social exclusion, encounters with prejudice, and unequal access and treatment by the health care system, all of which can impact health. Medicaid programs serve a disproportionate share of populations that are negatively impacted by health disparities. This new State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) issue brief provides examples from a handful of states that have begun the work of identifying, evaluating, and reducing health disparities within their Medicaid managed care programs. Additionally, it offers an approach for other states interested in measuring disparities in health care quality in Medicaid managed care as a step towards achieving health equity, such that all Medicaid managed care enrollees have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.
The companion State Health Policy Highlight, A Roadmap for Using Measurement to Address Health Disparities in Medicaid Managed Care, provides an overview of the step-by-step approach for states interested in measuring disparities in health care quality within Medicaid managed care.
As a reminder, SHVS is convening a series of webinars on advancing health equity through Medicaid managed care organizations. This five-part series will assist states interested in addressing disparities in health outcomes among Medicaid managed care beneficiaries as a step towards achieving health equity. On Thursday, June 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET SHVS (register here, required) will host the first webinar in the series, Advancing Health Equity in Medicaid Managed Care: An Introduction for States. This webinar will review the foundational principles of health equity, barriers to its realization, and the impact of health disparities.