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.
Leveraging Medicaid to Strengthen Coverage
States continue to develop strategies to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. In recent months, we have seen several proposals at both the federal and state levels that would leverage state Medicaid programs as a key component of coverage stability and affordability strategies. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) program, together with technical assistance experts from Manatt Health, host a webinar that highlights and defines potential policy options, including the “Medicaid Buy-in,” that states may consider to leverage Medicaid to achieve their goals with respect to coverage availability and affordability. We discuss the conditions that make each option more or less favorable for a state, and implementation issues or other considerations in play for states.