On April 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released its final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019, referred to here as the Payment Notice. This is an annual rule that includes a wide range of policy and operational changes for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, insurance market reforms, and premium stabilization programs. Concurrent with the 2019 Payment Notice, HHS also released sub-regulatory guidance, including the final annual letter to issuers, key dates for health plans participating in the individual and small-group markets in 2019, and an expansion of the circumstances under which individuals can qualify for exemptions to the ACA’s individual mandate. This expert perspective focuses on major provisions of the Payment Notice and accompanying guidance documents that require state decision-making or have other significant implications for states.
Medicaid: The Linchpin in State Strategies to Prevent and Address Opioid Use Disorders
April Grady, Patricia Boozang, Deborah Bachrach, Adam Striar, and Kevin McAvey, Manatt Health
The nation’s opioid epidemic claimed more than 42,000 lives in 2016, and more than 2 million people in the United States have an opioid use disorder (OUD). Yet, only 1 in 5 people suffering from an OUD receive treatment. The federal government has responded to the crisis by declaring a public health emergency and making over $500 million of OUD-targeted funding available to states last year. While critical, these dollars (and the programs they fund) pale in comparison to the scale and scope of resources the Medicaid program brings to states to combat the opioid epidemic and other substance use disorders (SUD). Indeed, today, Medicaid covers more than 1 in 3 people with an OUD, and program spending for people with an OUD in 2013 (before Medicaid expansion in many states) was more than $9 billion. In this issue brief, data from three states—New Hampshire, Ohio and West Virginia—highlight Medicaid’s role as the linchpin in states’ efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.
The State Health Policy Highlights, View from the States: the Role of Medicaid in Preventing and Addressing Opioid Use Disorders provides an overview on the role of Medicaid in supporting state efforts to address the opioid epidemic.