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 Strategies for Overcoming Barriers to Advance Health Equity
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Patti Boozang, Kaylee O’Connor, and Alisha Reginal, Manatt Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted longstanding health inequities which have resulted in an increased risk of sickness and death for people of color. The crisis has also propelled a nationwide focus on understanding and addressing health inequities. While COVID-19 and the reckoning on racial justice have mobilized some state officials working in Medicaid, public health, insurance departments, and Marketplaces, alike, states are at different places on their journeys to confront systemic racism and inequities in health care, and each faces unique and challenging barriers. This issue brief explores impediments and accelerants to advancing health equity as states are increasingly being called upon to drive change.