On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP), a wide-ranging package of health care and economic measures responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The ARP includes a broad expansion of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) main health insurance subsidy, the premium tax credit (PTC), the first major expansion of the health care reform law since its passage. This piece highlights the policymaking considerations that states must account for in light of the PTC expansion and uncertainty about future federal action. A key theme that emerges is that states will benefit from approaches that give them the flexibility to adjust policies year by year as the federal landscape develops.
State Health Policy Highlights: Addressing Social Determinants of Health
There is an extensive body of evidence that shows social determinants of health (SDOH) play a powerful role in shaping health and health outcomes. State policymakers are increasingly focused on SDOH because of the influence they have on health, health care outcomes and Medicaid spending. As state Medicaid agencies consider addressing SDOH, there are a range of models they can employ. State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) has published resources and hosted webinars with information for state health officials on approaches to addressing SDOH. This State Health Policy Highlight profiles two issue briefs and a webinar produced by SHVS on the topic of how state Medicaid programs can address SDOH.