Notable State Health and Value Strategies Pieces in 2021 That You May Have Missed
2021 was a year like no other in state health policy. Expansions of coverage subsidies, new opportunities in Medicaid, increased federal funding, and a full year of pandemic response. It has been busy for us at SHVS too, and with all of the materials we published this year, we wanted to share a list of what you might have missed.
A more recent publication by our friends at Bailit Health, this guide digs into the whys and hows of addressing health equity in partnership with managed care organizations. Of particular interest are the strategies to incorporate equity into manage care procurements.
When 2021 started, many observers predicted that the public option would be at the top of the list of new policy innovations. While the federal public option proposal stalled, states picked up the baton and Colorado became the first state to submit a 1332 waiver for a public option program. The team at Manatt Health reviewed state efforts midway through the year on the considerations of public options.
It felt like open enrollment never ended this year. COVID-19 changed so much of the world, including how consumers respond to outreach efforts. GMMB collected some strategies for state-based marketplaces to most effectively reach consumers in their states.
Vaccinating kids against COVID-19 has become a particular focus for states as 2021 draws to a close. The team at SHADAC looked to other childhood vaccination efforts to draw strategies for COVID-19.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) fundamentally altered (and strengthened) the coverage subsidies created by the Affordable Care Act. State efforts to enhance affordability of coverage are necessarily informed by these ARP changes. Jason Levitis and Dan Meuse outlined considerations for states as the ARP subsidies affect their markets.
As states shift their focus to understanding how programs can support health equity, understanding population trends and disparities based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) has become of particular interest. The data experts at SHADAC highlighted nation-leading efforts in Oregon to effectively collect SOGI information with evidence-based strategies.
Passed by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the No Surprises Act brings national protection against surprise medical bills, and its provisions go into effect on January 1, 2022. The team at Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms compiled an incredibly useful resource page to help states prepare for implementation of the new law and its consumer protections.
As part of the effort to address the COVID-19 pandemic, federal legislation provided enhanced funding to states, while limiting states’ ability to remove persons from Medicaid. The resumption of Medicaid redetermination in 2022 has enormous implications for health equity. The experts at Manatt Health highlighted how states can center equity in their policy and programming.
Maternal health outcomes remain one of the most troubling health disparities in our country. Bailit Health scoured the country for Medicaid agency efforts to reduce disparities and highlighted some innovations with the best potential to improve outcomes for mothers of color.
Health equity has been a top issue for states – and for the federal government – in 2021 and promises to continue to be top of mind for health policymakers. The lexicon for health equity is one that may be new to many officials and one that consistently evolves. Health Equity Solutions created a useful guide for states to understand the language of health equity and to help state officials center language around equity principles.
The crisis in immigrant health coverage has been both highlighted and exacerbated by the pandemic, as COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on immigrants, who are disproportionately frontline/service workers, making them particularly vulnerable to the virus. Persons without recognized immigration status and Dreamers continue to be left out of coverage programs. Manatt Health’s first-in-a-series piece on equity and affordability for immigrant populations lays out a set of considerations to extend coverage to immigrant communities and highlights state efforts to truly reach full coverage.