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.
Medicaid: States’ Most Powerful Tool to Combat the Opioid Crisis
Deborah Bachrach, Patricia Boozang, and Mindy Lipson, Manatt Health
With the United States in the midst of a worsening opioid epidemic, an examination of the resources and tools available to states in combating this crisis is critical. With Medicaid serving as the largest source of coverage for behavioral health services, including those related to substance use disorders (SUDs), the role that it can occupy in addressing the epidemic is clear. An additional 1.2 million individuals with SUDs have gained access to coverage in states that have expanded Medicaid under the ACA. This issue brief, developed by Manatt Health, reviews Medicaid strategies to combat the opioid epidemic. The issue brief underscores the vital nature of Medicaid expansion as part of this effort, with at least 1.1 million adults with SUDs currently residing in non-expansion states. The issue brief is part of a continuing series investigating the fiscal implications of Medicaid expansion.