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.
What Should Exchanges Know about Call Centers: A Guide for Implementation
Wakely Consulting Group – Kathie Mazza and Steven McStay
This brief, prepared by Wakely Consulting Group, reviews the components of a Call Center as a main face of the Exchange and part of a broader strategy for optimizing people, processes, and technology to support Exchange goals and objectives. It offers tips for Call Center strategy development and management best practices. The brief concludes with an exploration of five Call Center best practices relevant to the Exchange environment, several of which are drawn from conversations with people familiar with some of the best-in-class Call Centers in the country, including L.L.Bean, Fidelity Investments, Nordstrom, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont.
A related consumer assistance issue, Navigators and In-Person Assistors, is addressed in a brief produced by State Network staff outlining roles and a resource list for state officials. For a high level overview of consumer assistance strategies see the brief prepared by the National Academy for State Health Policy.