With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) ninth open enrollment period (OEP) set to launch in less than a month, the ACA Marketplaces are seeing record enrollment numbers with more generous subsidies, new carrier competition, and a relatively stable rating environment. At the same time, there is uncertainty with the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and medical costs trending upward as the economy recovers, albeit at an uneven pace. These trends have made for a challenging rate review process in the 47 states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.) that conduct their own ACA rate reviews of carrier-proposed rates using federal review standards. State announcements of 2022 rates have trickled out at a slower pace than in prior years, and it is likely that many states will not publish their approved rates until the beginning of open enrollment. As always, state rate results vary widely and, even within states, there often are substantial variations among carriers and across different regions in geographically diverse states. With these caveats, this expert perspective highlights some observations about the factors that are impacting rate changes this year and the kind of variations that exist among states.
Operationalizing the New Fast Track Enrollment Options: A Roadmap for State Officials
Manatt Health Solutions – Jocelyn Guyer and Tanya Schwartz
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance alerting states to the availability of waivers to facilitate the enrollment of eligible individuals into Medicaid using data states already have “on hand” in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid files. By doing so, states can: efficiently and quickly enroll eligible individuals in coverage; alleviate the administrative demands on new eligibility and enrollment systems for Medicaid and the Marketplaces; and reduce the staff time required to process Medicaid applications. This brief, prepared by Manatt Health Solutions, provides a roadmap for states on how to implement a fast track enrollment process, including all steps from getting the waiver from CMS to sending fast track enrollment forms and actually enrolling individuals into Medicaid before later evaluating fast track enrollees at renewal using standard eligibility determination rules.