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.
Reference Pricing: An Overview and Suggested Policy Considerations
Kayla Connor and David Cusano, Georgetown Health Policy Institute, Center on Health Insurance Reforms
Reference pricing is intended to reduce medical costs both for insurers and for purchasers of health care services, encouraging enrollees to obtain services from lower-cost providers and motivating higher cost providers to lower their reimbursement rates for those same services. This issue brief, prepared by the Georgetown Health Policy Institute’s Center of Health Insurance Reforms, provides an overview of this pricing method and federal guidance that has been issued to date. There are a number of factors that state and federal regulators should consider when reviewing plans that apply the pricing method, which are summarized in the issue brief, along with other policy considerations.