Expert Perspectives

Apr 12, 2021 

COBRA Assistance in the American Rescue Plan Act: A Guide for States

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.

Mar 16, 2021 

Highlights from the Updated Medicaid Managed Care Contract Language: Health Disparities and Health Equity

Erin Taylor, Rachel Isaacson, and Mary Beth Dyer, Bailit Health

State Health and Value Strategies recently released the third update to the Medicaid Managed Care Contract Language: Health Disparities and Health Equity, which includes excerpts from managed care contracts, procurement questions, and other policy documents from twelve states and the District of Columbia. This expert perspective share highlights from the recent updated version of the compendium.

Mar 16, 2021 

Overview of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed an approximately $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill—the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“the American Rescue Plan”). The American Rescue Plan includes myriad health care provisions, focused primarily in two areas: first, it provides funding the Biden Administration requested to carry out its COVID-19 response plans; second, it enacts significant but largely temporary coverage policies. This expert perspectives provides a high-level overview of the private insurance and Medicaid coverage provisions included in the American Rescue Plan.

Mar 15, 2021 

Ensuring Equity: State Strategies for Monitoring COVID-19 Vaccination Rates by Race and Other Priority Populations

The rollout of vaccines designed to end the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has begun in earnest across the United States. Currently, each state is responsible for determining how to allocate, distribute, track, and report its vaccine allotment from the federal government, although the federal government is expected to take on a larger role under a new Biden administration. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color have been disproportionately impacted by both higher risks of infection and poorer health outcomes, and many are concerned that an inequitable or inefficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine may further widen health inequities among these populations. One way to help ensure the equitable administration of COVID-19 vaccine is to track vaccine administration disaggregated for key subpopulations, such as gender, race and ethnicity, and geography (e.g., urban vs. rural). This expert perspective reviews the data states are currently publicly reporting related to vaccine administration and provides an interactive map that explores the extent to which all 50 states are reporting vaccine administration data breakdowns by age, gender, race, ethnicity, provider type, and level of geography. The expert perspective also discusses what current data sources states are using to provide this information and provides an overview of options states can consider to collect information about the administration of COVID-19 vaccine in populations via survey data.

Mar 11, 2021 

Supporting Insurance Affordability with State Marketplace Subsidies

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.