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.
The American Rescue Plan: An Overview of Medicaid Provisions and State/Local Relief
On Tuesday, March 16, State Health and Value Strategies hosted the second of three webinars to address key provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The $1.9 trillion budget reconciliation package was signed into law by President Biden on March 11. The legislation is wide-ranging, seeking to support Americans as we continue to recover from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. Health coverage programs will see the largest changes since the Affordable Care Act, with provisions that will strengthen Medicaid and CHIP, drastically increase affordability in the marketplace, create new coverage opportunities for those that lost jobs, and provide significant federal funding to support states and localities.
The second webinar, with experts from Manatt Health, reviewed key Medicaid provisions and state/local relief funding included in the COVID-19 relief package. Presenters will also discuss considerations for state policymakers as they look to implement the American Rescue Plan, and how some proposals that did not end up in the final legislation could foreshadow future policy priorities. The first webinar, The American Rescue Plan: An Overview of Private Insurance Provisions, is scheduled for Friday, March 12 and explored changes to private insurance, including Marketplaces. The third webinar, The American Rescue Plan: Communicating Affordability Provisions, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23 and will discuss how to best to communicate with consumers and other stakeholders so residents can take full advantage of new financial help through the Marketplace, free COBRA plans, and more provided by the American Rescue Plan.