The start of the 2021 rate review process for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces coincided with the initial outbreak of COVID-19 cases, and early forecasts were ominous, with rate increases projected as high as 40 percent. There was also widespread concern about how to set rates when insurers’ COVID-related costs looked anything but predictable. In short, it looked like, after a period of relative stability in Marketplace rates, enrollees might be in for a rollercoaster ride. This expert perspective provides a brief overview of how the rate review process has developed since the first ACA OEP in 2013 and how those developments came together this year to enable regulators and insurers to manage uncertainty and achieve more stable rates for the 2021 plan year.
Why Per Capita Caps Aren’t Just Managed Care for States
Deborah Bachrach, Patricia Boozang, and Anne Karl, Manatt Health
The American Health Care Act (AHCA), as passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, 2016, would overhaul federal financing of state Medicaid programs, and for the first time, would cap federal Medicaid funding. As policymakers debate the potential implications of per capita caps, it has been suggested that per capita caps are really no different than Medicaid managed care—a concept with which states are fully familiar and well able to manage. This Manatt Health policy brief tests that hypothesis by examining the similarities and differences between the federal per capita cap and a state’s per capita “cap” in Medicaid managed care spending.