The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law on March 11, 2021 as a signature effort to assist in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic downturn. Included as part of the sweeping legislation is a program to fully subsidize COBRA coverage for six months starting in April of 2021. This expert perspective provides a short overview of COBRA and mini-COBRA, the major elements of the ARPA COBRA Assistance program, and considerations for state policymakers related to the program.
Improving Care for Medicaid Beneficiaries Experiencing Homelessness
This issue brief stems from technical assistance provided to California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), with support from RWJF’s State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) program. The technical expert, Carol Wilkins, facilitated webinars and meetings with DHCS staff and medical directors of contracted Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), in order to share information about housing resources and emerging practices for improving care and achieving savings by linking more Medicaid beneficiaries with permanent supportive housing. Carol adapted the California-specific materials for a national audience and are included as handouts accompanying this brief. State agencies can use the handouts for discussion and training with Medicaid staff, providers, MCOs and other stakeholders.
The companion toolkit:
• Handout 1 – The basics of permanent supportive housing (for state agencies, health plans, and health care providers)
• Handout 2 – Understanding the homeless assistance system (for state agencies, health plans, and health care providers)
• Handout 3 – A local housing resource template (for state agencies and health plans)
• Handout 4 – How to screen Medicaid beneficiaries to identify those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness (for health plans and health care providers)