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.
State Investments in Supportive Housing
Stephanie Anthony, Patricia Boozang, and Mandy Ferguson, Manatt Health
Supportive housing combines transitional or permanent housing with support services that help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, people with disabilities, and older adults to secure and maintain housing. Research shows that access to affordable, safe, and stable housing can improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. While Medicaid typically does not pay for housing (room and board), it does pay for some clinical and non-clinical services that can help people obtain and maintain their housing. More recently, new federal authorities to cover housing-related services have motivated states to think more broadly about the Medicaid populations who could benefit from access to housing-related services and the types of services that can promote housing stability.
This issue brief provides an overview of the federal authorities under which states are able to cover nonclinical housing-related services for high-need Medicaid enrollees and also details how states are using these authorities to invest in supportive housing for diverse high-need Medicaid populations. As a companion to the issue brief, Manatt Health has produced State Investments in Supportive Housing: An Inventory of State Efforts, which provides an in-depth look at states that are leveraging federal authorities to offer supportive housing benefits.