The start of the 2021 rate review process for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces coincided with the initial outbreak of COVID-19 cases, and early forecasts were ominous, with rate increases projected as high as 40 percent. There was also widespread concern about how to set rates when insurers’ COVID-related costs looked anything but predictable. In short, it looked like, after a period of relative stability in Marketplace rates, enrollees might be in for a rollercoaster ride. This expert perspective provides a brief overview of how the rate review process has developed since the first ACA OEP in 2013 and how those developments came together this year to enable regulators and insurers to manage uncertainty and achieve more stable rates for the 2021 plan year.
Revisiting Medicaid Provider Payment Strategies During the COVID-19 Crisis
On Thursday, September 17, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar that will discuss the federal government’s response to the financial challenges facing providers. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic changes in utilization that threaten the financial stability of providers. Most of the Provider Relief Fund has been distributed, yet providers are still experiencing lost revenue and increased costs related to COVID-19. Medicaid payment strategies—especially for providers serving high numbers of Medicaid patients—remain a critical tool for states to support providers as new COVID-19 hotspots emerge and utilization patterns change. During the webinar, experts from Manatt Health reviewed examples of specific strategies states implemented between April and August 2020 to increase payments to providers in financial distress as a result of decreased health care utilization.
As a companion to the webinar, Manatt Health updated a toolkit for states that identifies available tools to support safety-net providers despite substantial utilization changes resulting from COVID-19.