Expert Perspectives

Apr 5, 2019 

Work Requirements Litigation

On March 27, for the second time, a federal judge vacated the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approval of Kentucky’s Medicaid 1115 demonstration waiver to test, among other things, a work requirement as a condition of Medicaid eligibility. In a related case of Arkansas’s Medicaid work requirements demonstration, the judge likewise vacated the federal approval, remanding it to CMS for further consideration. Notably, because Arkansas, unlike Kentucky, had already implemented the work requirements, the decision requires the state to cease its work requirement and related Medicaid disenrollments. This expert perspective reviews the court’s decision and its implications for both Kentucky and Arkansas and other states with similar approved or pending waiver requests, as well as for states contemplating imposing work or other “community engagement” requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries.

Mar 29, 2019 

What’s in the Association Health Plan Final Rule? Implications for States

President Trump issued an executive order on October 12, 2017 to encourage the expansion of association health plans (AHPs) for small businesses and the self-employed. On June 19, 2018 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a final regulation to implement that order. The final rule is similar to a draft version that the administration issued in January 2018. The new AHP policy raises numerous issues affecting state regulators, insurance markets, and the consumers and small businesses who buy coverage.

Mar 6, 2019 

What, if Anything, Do the Latest Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) Court Rulings Mean for 2020 Premiums?

Several recent federal court decisions have held that the federal government owes insurers billions in cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. The Administration cut off those payments in October 2017, after efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed in Congress. Insurers promptly sued, arguing that the government had breached its statutory obligation to compensate insurers for offering the mandated low cost-sharing plans. Of note, the court decisions suggest that the government continues to owe these CSR payments even though most insurers were able to mitigate their losses by increasing plan premiums in 2018 and beyond. Because this litigation is almost certain to carry over into 2020 or beyond, this Expert Perspective post suggests that states not change their approach to insurers’ rating practices for 2020. However, states should consider what their approach should be if insurers do prevail in the litigation and states have an opportunity to recoup what otherwise would be a windfall for insurers.