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.
Recent COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation and Guidance: Opportunities and Considerations for States
Manatt Health, Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms and GMMB
On Friday, May 1 State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health and Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms summarized recent federal legislation related to COVID-19 and distilled key takeaways from recent federal guidance. Topics included:
- Review of the recently passed stimulus bill, “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” (also known as CARES Act 3.5)
- Deep dive of recently released guidance on the disbursement of CARES Act funding including the Provider Relief and Coronavirus Relief Funds
- Medicaid strategies for providers and considerations for states
Leaders from a handful of states discussed their own experiences and provided key insights and lessons learned.