Expert Perspectives

Jun 5, 2015 

New Research Highlights Fiscal Implications of Medicaid Expansion

Recent research has demonstrated the degree to which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been instrumental in decreasing the uninsured rate across all states. This research also, however, draws attention to the substantial difference in coverage gains between states that have expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA, and those that have not. And decisions on whether to expand Medicaid can have a profound impact not only on coverage in a state, but can also carry with them significant financial implications. This has become increasingly clear with the most recent issue brief prepared for the State Network by Manatt Health Solutions.

May 21, 2015 

New Issue Brief Highlights Strategy for Increasing Enrollment through Enhanced Engagement with Brokers

In February, Galen Benshoof underscored the importance of agents and brokers in ensuring robust enrollment and exchange sustainability. Recognizing this, the State Network funded programs in Illinois and Minnesota, led by Wakely Consulting Group (Wakely), to enhance in-person agent and broker engagement while expanding their capability to assist anyone who walks through their doors, even if they are eligible for Medicaid or other state coverage programs. These Lead Broker Agency programs were a success, and the states are planning to continue or expand the programs next year!

A new issue brief, prepared by Kathie Mazza at Wakely, describes the concept of these pilots and outlines how other states interested in partnering with insurance brokers can implement similar initiatives for future open enrollment periods.

May 15, 2015 

New Issue Brief on Student Health Plan Regulation

Student health plans have long been a source of coverage for college students who do not have other options available. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services redefined student health plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), requiring that they be treated like individual health insurance. This means that students buying these plans through their college or university now have the same protections available to them as if they bought a plan in the individual market. It also means that states and the federal government have a new role in oversight of these plans.