Implications of Health Care Provisions for States in the Second COVID Stimulus Bill
Manatt Health and Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms
As the United States struggles to slow the spread of COVID-19, preparing for and mitigating the impact of the crisis on the economy, the health care system and the population is dominating the focus of Congress, the Administration and state governments. After rapid action, Congress passed two initial COVID-19 bills and is expected to pass a third–much larger—economic stimulus package, with possibly a fourth package in the coming weeks. The second bill, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (enacted March 18), focuses largely on ensuring access to free testing as well as Medicaid fiscal relief; it also includes emergency supplemental appropriations to agencies on the front lines of the response to the pandemic, $1 billion in food aid, the establishment of an emergency paid leave benefits program, and the extension of sick leave benefits.
During the webinar, experts from Manatt Health and Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms explored the key health care provisions in the second COVID-19 stimulus bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the implications for state Medicaid and CHIP agencies, state departments of insurance, and state-based Marketplaces. The webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants can pose their questions to the experts on the line.
On December 6, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published and made effective an interim final rule (IFR) with comment period regarding states’ ongoing unwinding efforts to redetermine eligibility for all Medicaid enrollees nationwide. This expert perspective summarizes the IFR, which interprets and implements the state reporting requirements and CMS enforcement authorities that Congress enacted last winter in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.
The 11th annual open enrollment period (OEP) is underway, providing consumers with an opportunity to enroll in health coverage for plan year 2024 through the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. To support consumers during this OEP, State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs) are innovating to make health coverage more affordable and easier for consumers to enroll. This expert perspective highlights new initiatives being implemented by SBMs during the plan year 2024 OEP, including establishing or improving state subsidy programs to reduce out-of-pocket costs, expanding coverage for undocumented populations, or implementing policies to improve the enrollment process.
As the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement continues, both states and the federal government are tracking and monitoring the impacts of the resumption of eligibility redeterminations and disenrollments. Given the time-lags and caveats of CMS data, many states are publishing their own state data dashboards. To date, 46 states (including the District of Columbia) have released unwinding data in either an interactive dashboard or static pdf format, or are making public their required CMS Monthly Unwinding Data reports. This expert perspective includes an interactive map with links to state reporting, as well as a table tracking the unwinding indicators and disaggregated data that states are reporting on. SHVS will continue to update this EP as more states publish their unwinding data.