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.
Navigators and In-Person Assistors: State Policy and Program Design Considerations
State Health Reform Assistance Network – Shelly Ten Napel and Daniel Eckel
This brief, prepared by State Network staff, outlines important policy issues for states to consider while implementing their Navigator and In-Person Assistor (IPA) programs as well as summarizes the basic information and guidance released to date. The brief concludes with a compilation of resources, program structures, and ideas from leading State Network states. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related guidance have established Navigators and IPAs to help individuals enroll in Health Benefit Exchanges (Exchanges). Regardless of the type of Exchange, every state will have Navigator and In-Person Assistor programs and several states have begun to make policy and operational decisions that could be informative to other states.
This brief, part of a developing series of reports related to consumer assistance, reflects an effort to curate the growing number and depth of resources available to state policymakers on this topic. Wakely Consulting Group has produced a brief, What Should Exchanges Know about Call Centers: A Guide for Implementation, which offers states strategies and best practices for call center management. For a high level overview of consumer assistance see the brief prepared by the National Academy for State Health Policy.