May 31, 2018: Mandates and Medical Expansion

Medicaid Expansion: The big news this week is that Virginia is poised to become the next state to expand Medicaid. Over 400,000 Virginians will be eligible for Medicaid once the Governor signs the bill. The expansion will have a major impact on Virginia’s individual market as a large number of those expected to sign up for Medicaid are currently in the individual market.

This fall a number of other states will vote on ballot initiatives as to whether they will follow suit. Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska are all likely to vote on it.

Mandates: New Jersey joins Massachusetts and Vermont as states with an individual mandate. New Jersey’s Governor signed into legislation a state level individual mandate effective January 1 2019. DC is also expected to sign an individual mandate into law in the near future. Several other states are considering mandate legislation but they are not expected to go into effect until 2020 at the earliest.

AHP/STLDP Watch: Speculation continues to build that the Association Health Plan and Short Term Limited Duration final rules will be released shortly.

  1. Watch: Congress this week passed a “right to try” bill which allows terminal patients to try untested treatments. It also provides legal protection to pharmaceutical companies and providers that use non-FDA approved approaches in certain circumstances.

Talk also continues to swirl about a potential ACA repeal and replacement plan that would be voted on this summer (August). The Washington Examiner reports that the plan would allow states to convert ACA subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into block grants.