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.
Medicaid and Social Determinants of Health: Adjusting Payment and Measuring Outcomes
Ellen Breslin and Anissa Lambertino, Health Management Associates
State policy makers are increasingly focused on social determinants of health (SDOH) because of the important influence of these determinants on health care outcomes and Medicaid spending. Social determinants include a broad array of social and environmental risk factors such as poverty, housing stability, early childhood education, access to primary care, access to healthy food, incarceration and discrimination. This issue brief digs into to opportunities that states have to account for SDOH in Medicaid programs. This topic was also the subject of a recent State Health and Value Strategies webinar.