The COVID-19 Relief Package and the “No Surprises Act”: Implications for States
In the waning days of 2020, Congress enacted a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and government funding bill. Included in the measure is the “No Surprises Act,” which contains new protections for consumers from surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers. State Health & Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, Manatt Health, and tax expert Jason Levitis reviewed the provisions of this legislation and their implications for states. The webinar reviewed the No Surprises Act and provided an overview of the next steps for implementing the federal balance billing protections and what the law will mean for state-level protections. Additionally, presenters discussed a number of other key health care provisions, including state and locality funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and testing as well as policy changes to the Provider Relief Fund, and the impact of additional unemployment compensation and relief payments on eligibility for financial assistance for health coverage.
This expert perspective reviews key considerations for states exploring Marketplace insurance subsidies and highlights the experiences in the five states that have established state-based subsidies that supplement the ACA’s premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions.
The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented national effort to manufacture, distribute, and ultimately administer COVID-19 vaccines to all Americans. While the federal government is coordinating distribution of vaccines from manufacturers to states, individual states (and certain municipalities) are responsible for coordinating the various components of infrastructure and operational logistics needed to take the vaccine from federal distribution channels to the arms of Americans. This expert perspective outlines four recommendations for states to engage their managed care plans to assist in efforts to successfully and rapidly vaccinate the Medicaid population.