Expert Perspectives

Jul 13, 2021 

Considerations for Telehealth Equity

Since March 2020, many states have rapidly leveraged federal and state flexibilities under the public health emergency to expand telehealth capabilities and reimbursement through both public and private payers. Now, some states are extending telehealth for the long term or expanding their existing telehealth programs. Increased uptake of telehealth could reduce administrative costs, transportation costs, and wait times. It also could exacerbate existing disparities if barriers to care for populations experiencing these disparities are not addressed. To realize telehealth’s potential for increasing equity in access, states must analyze the impact of these services. This expert perspective highlights considerations for states to maximize the potential of telehealth care to improve equity.

Jul 9, 2021 

The No Surprises Act Interim Final Rule: Implications for States

On July 1, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Treasury, and Labor (DOL) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the first of at least three rules implementing the No Surprises Act (NSA), the comprehensive federal law banning balance bills in emergency and certain non-emergency settings beginning January 1, 2022. The interim final rule (IFR) was released with model notice and disclosure forms, as well as other materials. This expert perspective summarizes provisions that have particular implications for state regulators.

Jul 9, 2021 

The State of Play: A Mid-Year Update on the Public Option at the Federal and State Level

The 2020 election and transition to a new federal administration marked a pivotal point for state policymakers with an interest in the public option. At the federal level, President Biden’s health reform platform included support for a federal public option based on the Medicare program and offered on the ACA Marketplaces. At the state level, Washington implemented the nation’s first public option for the 2021 plan year and in the first six months of 2021, states made significant progress in advancing public option proposals, with public option legislation advancing in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. While progress is incremental, with some state laws reflecting long implementation timelines and additional studies, the legislative results suggest that the public option will continue to be an important health reform initiative at the state level. And, as discussed in this expert perspective, the administration could play a decisive role in how public options develop at the state level through its approach to Section 1332 innovation waivers.

Jul 1, 2021 

Round III of the 2022 Notice of Benefit & Payment Parameters: Implications for States

The U.S. Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Treasury released a proposed rule governing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance marketplaces and insurance standards for plan year 2022. The rule reverses several provisions that were finalized on January 19, 2021 by the previous administration. This expert perspective reviews provisions of the proposed rule of particular import to the state-based marketplaces (SBMs) and state insurance regulators. Comments on the proposed rule are due by July 28, 2021.