On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP), a wide-ranging package of health care and economic measures responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The ARP includes a broad expansion of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) main health insurance subsidy, the premium tax credit (PTC), the first major expansion of the health care reform law since its passage. This piece highlights the policymaking considerations that states must account for in light of the PTC expansion and uncertainty about future federal action. A key theme that emerges is that states will benefit from approaches that give them the flexibility to adjust policies year by year as the federal landscape develops.
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.