Issue Briefs | Feb 12, 2012

Strategies for Building Seamless Health Systems for Low-Income Populations

The George Washington University – Sara Rosenbaum; Center for Health Care Strategies – Stephen Somers and Shannon McMahon

The Affordable Care Act offers numerous opportunities to stabilize coverage and care for beneficiaries as their incomes fluctuate, and states can reduce the impact of churn between coverage programs with design and purchasing strategies that promote seamlessness. This brief explores the challenges for states in creating seamless health coverage for low-income populations, while providing states with a roadmap as they consider building seamless health systems. Key issues for states to consider include managing subsidy fluctuations through carefully designed eligibility and enrollment strategies and ensuring stable coverage and care by creating seamlessness across benefits, providers, and health plans.