Many states continue to encounter challenges in stabilizing their individual health insurance markets, including large premium increases and declining insurer participation. One solution is a state-based reinsurance program similar to the federal program that reduced premiums by more than 10 percent per year from 2014 to 2016. The brief provides a roadmap of policy, program design, and financing considerations for states that are contemplating development of a state-based reinsurance program under 1332 waiver authority.
With effective repeal of the federal individual insurance mandate scheduled for 2019, many state policymakers are exploring ways to stabilize their insurance markets, including creating a state-based mandate similar to one in Massachusetts. This webinar includes a deep dive into Massachusetts’ mandate, and features a Maryland proposal to create an auto-enrollment process for individuals through its marketplace.
In response to President Trump’s October 12 executive order, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury have published proposed rules to expand the availability of health coverage sold through short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI).
This brief provides an analysis of legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would create a mechanism for states to offer their residents the opportunity to buy a Medicaid-based public insurance option.
In response to President Trump’s October 12 executive order (EO), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published proposed rules to expand the availability of health coverage sold through associations to small businesses and self-employed individuals. The full brief provides state health officials with a detailed review of the content of the proposed rule and examines the implications for states.
Studies show that health disparities are often passed down from socially disadvantaged parents to their children and grandchildren. Poor children begin life on an uneven playing field; they face greater challenges than their healthier, more advantaged classmates; and they often struggle as adults to accumulate wealth to share with—and bequeath to—their children. State and federal health policymakers play a crucial role in breaking this cycle of poverty and inequity so that all can live healthy, prosperous lives.
Uncertainty about the future of health insurance options and concern about the ability of Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces to offer adequate competition and choice have spurred states to look for new coverage approaches. Innovative strategies states are proposing include allowing consumers to buy into state Medicaid programs and developing state-specific coverage options within the ACA’s framework.
As Congress barrels toward the end of the year, several bills are in play that will have major and almost immediate ramifications for health insurance markets. They include: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1); The Alexander-Murray insurance market stabilization bill; The Nelson-Collins reinsurance program bill; and the temporary elimination of the health insurance tax (H.R. 4620).
More than 200 state health officials crowded into a NASHP annual conference session to learn about strategies to improve population health and reduce costs while simultaneously transforming their state’s health care finance and delivery models.
CMS released two informational bulletins detailing a new, streamlined approach for the review and management of Section 1115 demonstrations and state plan amendments and 1915 waivers. The streamlined approach may enhance states' ability to design innovative health care delivery initiatives in their Medicaid programs. These changes come at a critical time as states develop new approaches to reduce health care costs and stem the opioid epidemic.
HHS released proposed changes in its annual notice that governs standards for issuers and the health insurance marketplaces. The annual notice is one of the most significant tools the Administration wields in shaping the health insurance markets and this proposed notice carries significant implications for markets and states.
Understanding premium increases for individual market plans is more complicated this year. In many states, carriers attempted to recapture that lost revenue by increasing the premium of the silver plan relative to other metals. ‘Silver-loading’ gives subsidized non-cost-sharing reduction (CSR) consumers the opportunity to purchase a relatively more affordable bronze or gold plan.
With three states using Section 1332 waivers to help fund reinsurance programs for the 2018 plan year, many more state officials are considering the model for their state in future years. Having worked directly with the 2018 reinsurance states, State Health and Value Strategies presents a to-do list for states as they consider reinsurance for 2019.
This brief puts a state lens on emerging proposals in the ACA repeal and replace debate. Over the last decade, 21 states introduced legislation to sell across state lines, only five states enacted such laws, but no insurer has yet to offer.
Sens. Lamar Alexander (TN) and Patty Murray (WA) released a bipartisan bill designed to bring short-term stability to the health insurance market. While there are indications that Alexander and Murray secured the 60 votes needed for passage in the Senate, it faces an uncertain fate in the House and with the President.
The prospects for these new players reflect tensions for the market as a whole. Clearly the massive number of net exits signals a retrenchment by many market participants in 2018, resulting in shrinking of territorial footprints and outright withdrawal by large parts of the industry. For a variety of reasons, including attempts to repeal the ACA, the potential of the individual market has not yet been fully realized. Yet, it still remains the source of coverage for millions of people.
While there are risks to the stability of their markets that states cannot well control, one important route to adverse market outcomes may be state policy decisions. There are frequent calls for more state flexibility, but these data suggest that the exercise of existing state flexibility is one way that states have visited a considerable amount of trouble upon their markets. Yet there is a hopeful note here as well, since this suggests that there are steps that states can take to improve their situation.
This report discusses the scope of state authority and tools available to ensure that consumers living within their borders benefit from the insurance protections promised under federal law. It also discusses specific statutory and administrative options for states in the event of selected possible federal administrative actions, including a: Rollback of the essential health benefits; relaxation of marketplace health plan oversight; re-definition of what constitutes minimum essential coverage; loosening of medical loss ratio standards; and an expansion of off-marketplace enrollment opportunities.
The Senate released two bills as part of its efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA): A revision to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) eliminating the “Ted Cruz Amendment,” which provided funding to create coverage alternatives for high-risk individuals, and the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA), which would repeal many of the major provisions of the ACA within a two-year period, but does not offer plans to replace those provisions.
The AHCA, which proposes to repeal and replace the ACA, would dismantle the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). States received over $625 million from the PPHF in fiscal year 2016, and stand to lose more than $3 billion over five years if it is repealed. The bill would repeal all new appropriations for the PPHF starting in fiscal year 2019, and rescind any funds left over at the end of 2018.
HHS Secretary Tom Price issued a letter to governors encouraging them to take advantage of Sec. 1332 State Innovation Waivers under the Affordable Care Act and cited Alaska‘s request as an example. Alaska’s waiver seeks federal funds to support a reinsurance plan to stabilize its individual insurance market.
This chart summarizes how the American Health Care Act, passed out of House committees the day before, differed from the Affordable Care Act. State leaders, representing the diversity of states and breadth of state health policy agencies and officials, met at a summit to discuss those changes and how they might affect states.
Congressional action to repeal and replace the ACA is on the fast track. The administration and GOP leaders have outlined a three-pronged effort to reform healthcare beginning with passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Congress released Manager’s Amendments to the AHCA, inclusive of a series of policy and technical changes to the bill. Here is a full statutory text of policy and technical amendments.
Recent state waivers can inform the question of whether and how low-income individuals could benefit from health savings accounts (HSAs) with high-deductible health plans. State experiences incorporating health savings accounts into Medicaid can be instructive, as policymakers consider the role of HSAs in proposed health care reforms. This brief looks at health savings and similar accounts in Michigan and Indiana.
Congress began its ACA repeal effort and evolving replacement options are receiving considerable attention. NASHP is tracking issues that appear in multiple proposals and will provide state perspectives, including: How might they impact states? What might they cost? Have they been tried before in states and what did we learn from past initiatives?
This chart provides an overview of ACA provisions and snapshot of the implications for states if the ACA is repealed. States are the primary regulator of insurance and as such had laws in place prior to the enactment of ACA. Some states repealed those laws and replaced them with ACA provisions, while other states revised their laws but left other old, preempted laws on the books.
Health coverage transitions—sometimes referred to as churn—have always existed to some degree, but with the Affordable Care Act there are additional possibilities for churning to occur across multiple coverage sources. This report examines current efforts in some states to measure these coverage transitions and provides broader context on the issue of churn.
This issue brief examines seven safety-net ACOs across five states to understand their origins, organization, characteristics and functions and to identify federal and state policy questions associated with their emergence. The issue brief identifies both challenges facing safety-net provider ACO aspirants and state strategies to support safety-net provider development of ACOs.
This report identifies key lessons from ACO activities across the country to date. It examines how ACOs can build upon these initial successes and informs policymakers, researchers, and foundations about key considerations to further the development of effective ACO approaches across the health care market.