Expert Perspectives

May 6, 2020 

Five Key Questions State Health Officials Can Ask Right Now to Advance Health Equity During COVID-19 Response Efforts

Tekisha Dwan Everette and Karen Siegel, Health Equity Solutions

Early evidence suggests there are health disparities based on race, gender, and geography in both the contraction of COVID-19 and deaths related to the virus. People of color and those who live in urban centers are faring worse from this pandemic. These higher rates of illness and death are rooted in longstanding, structural inequities in our country. While these inequities cannot be fixed overnight, states can begin to foster a more equitable and just COVID-19 response, relief, and recovery effort by employing a few key guidelines. This expert perspective poses a series of questions states can use to inform immediate actions to strengthen their initial responses and lay the foundation for broader reforms to advance health equity.

May 1, 2020 

More States Looking to Section 1332 Waivers

In the absence of federal legislation, states are actively seeking tools to reform their health care systems. While 1115 waivers rightly get a lot of attention, because of their ability to reshape state Medicaid programs, the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1332 waivers continue to be a promising avenue for states to stabilize their health insurance marketplace. SHVS is tracking state activity and has many resources, including a template, for states interested in pursuing a Section 1332 waiver.

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Apr 15, 2020 

Grace Periods: A Good Start But Not Sufficient

An expert perspective about state actions to extend grace periods, during which insurance coverage cannot be cancelled for non-payment of premiums, in the individual market in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This piece highlights the risks to consumers of extending traditional grace periods, when not paired with additional protections, and suggests a range of options for addressing the limitations of grace periods. It also provides a primer on this important issue and describes a couple of wrinkles under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Apr 10, 2020 

COVID-19 Communication Best Practices for States

This expert perspective includes recommended communication strategies—and some examples—for how states can elevate coverage options and help ensure that more residents can access health insurance during these uncertain times.