On Friday, June 12, State Health & Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health and Georgetown reviewed the current telehealth policy landscape and considerations for states as they design their post-apex telehealth policies. This webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants posed their questions to the experts on the line.
On Thursday, May 14, State Health and Value Strategies, in partnership with technical experts from Manatt Health, Levitis Strategies, GMMB, and the Urban Institute, hosted a webinar for states to help address the rapidly-evolving changes to the coverage environment. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, it has become clear that rising unemployment will substantially reduce employer sponsored health insurance. During the webinar, speakers discussed the models that have been published of where individuals are expected to gain coverage over the next 18 months, the impact on the Medicaid, individual, and employer-sponsored insurance markets, the role of special enrollment periods, and coordination with unemployment agencies. The webinar also highlighted communications opportunities and strategies for states to support enrollment.
On Friday, May 1 State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health and Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms summarized recent federal legislation related to COVID-19 and distilled key takeaways from recent federal guidance. Topics included: a review of the recently passed stimulus bill, “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act;” a deep dive of recently released guidance on the disbursement of CARES Act funding including the Provider Relief and Coronavirus Relief Funds; and Medicaid strategies for providers and considerations for states.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is moving rapidly to help states and health care providers respond to mounting needs for new sources of funding and flexibility. Congress has passed three COVID-19 stimulus bills, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance outlining new flexibilities available to states and providers, and is working to approve additional requests from states, to award funds appropriated by Congress, and to issue more guidance about such funding. This Q&A provides a moment-in-time update in response to questions SHVS has received about the federal government’s response.
On Wednesday, March 18 State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar, Responding to COVID-19: State Strategies for Medicaid and Commercial Health Insurance Oversight. As states navigate increased spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and in light of the President’s declaration of a national emergency, states are evaluating the tools available to them to respond to this new public health crisis. The webinar explored both the strategies available to Medicaid programs and the opportunities for state regulators to reduce gaps in coverage and lower barriers to accessing care. Technical assistance experts from Manatt Health and Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms discussed the steps states have taken so far, as well as strategies and opportunities for states to consider as they ramp up their response to COVID-19. The webinar included a question and answer session during which states posed their questions to the experts on the line.
The recent repeal of the federal health insurer fee may create an opportunity for states to secure funding to support health coverage, without increasing costs on consumers or the health care industry.
Enacting a fee to replace the federal one presents several design questions for states, including what lines of insurance to include, timing, rate, and targeted exemptions. Frequent SHVS partner and ACA tax expert Jason Levitis prepared slides to help states understand these issues. For states interested in learning more, SHVS is happy to make Jason available to provide technical assistance. If you have questions or are interested in assistance, contact Jason directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eight states require or will require insurers to offer health plans with standardized benefit plans in the individual market, and several more are considering requiring such standardization in the future. On Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. ET, SHVS hosted a webinar on the opportunities for states to implement standardized benefit designs, either through their health insurance marketplace or as part of a public option plan, issues to consider in developing standardized options, communicating with stakeholders, and leveraging standardized designs to improve affordability for enrollees and encourage maintenance of coverage. The webinar reviewed the development of standardized designs through state-based marketplaces, their role in Washington and other states’ public option proposals, operational requirements to improve the end-user experience, and data collection and analysis needs.
On August 12, 2019 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final version of its public charge rule which was to go into effect on October 15. The public charge rule will change how DHS determines whether immigrants—when seeking admission to the U.S., an extension of their stay, or status change to become a legal permanent resident—are “likely at any time to become a public charge” (i.e., dependent on the government for financial support). The webinar reviewed the final rule, highlighted changes from the proposed rule, and explored the rule’s potential impacts on consumers, states and providers.
On Friday, June 21 at 1:00 p.m. ET State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar for state officials with technical experts to discuss the implications of the health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) rule and possible state responses. The webinar featured Jason Levitis, who led ACA implementation at the U.S. Treasury Department, as well as experts from Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms and from Manatt Health. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury released final regulations easing the rules governing HRA and other account-based, tax-preferred health care on June 13. The final rule represents the third of the three policy changes initiated by the October 12, 2017 Executive Order, which also called for easing the rules on short-term limited-duration coverage and association health plans. Like those changes, the HRA rule could have profound implications for health insurance markets, consumers, and Marketplaces. The rule is effective in 2020, which raises important considerations about Marketplace readiness and potential tax consequences for individuals.
On Thursday, April 25, State Health and Value Strategies, with Manatt Health, hosted a webinar for states on six key questions that state policymakers need to consider when choosing a buy-in model, designing its features, and introducing a Medicaid buy-in program. Lawmakers across the country are considering “Medicaid buy-in” or public option programs to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance market and offer a coverage option that is more affordable and accessible than current options in the individual and employer markets. The concept of Medicaid buy-in/public option is evolving, encompassing the original Medicaid-based proposals and extending to other programs through which states can leverage government bargaining power to offer a more affordable coverage option, like state employee health plans or a Basic Health Plan. During the webinar, speakers from Manatt Health discussed considerations related to (1) goal setting, (2) sources of cost-savings, (3) potential impacts on existing insurance markets, (4) federal 1332 waiver considerations, (5) implementation capacity, and (6) key steps for implementation. Additionally, representatives from Colorado, Connecticut, and Washington shared the status of efforts in their respective states.