In accordance with a recent executive order on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid, the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the Health Insurance Marketplace reopened this week and will remain open through Saturday, May 15.
House Wraps Up Reconciliation, Working on COVID Package
Last week, House Committees finished work on budget reconciliation instructions for the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation. Members on the House Budget Committee are now combining the instructions into the final $1.9 trillion relief package, with a vote in the House likely to occur next week. House lawmakers will also be on standby to vote on the package again during the week of March 8 should the Senate make changes to the underlying bill.
CMS Considers Withdrawing Medicaid Work Requirements
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last week sent letters to states with previously approved Medicaid work requirement waivers informing them that the Biden administration will commence a process to determine if the policy should be withdrawn, giving states 30 days to submit information contesting the decision. The letters cite the administration’s “serious concerns about testing policies that create a risk of substantial loss of health care coverage in the near term,” as well as the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on health and accessibility. No work requirements are currently in effect due to rulings by federal courts, and the policy is up for review by the Supreme Court on March 29.
NatCon21 is Going Virtual
Breaking news: NatCon21 will be 100% virtual this year! Are you ready to experience the largest conference in mental health and addiction treatment? Reserve your seat by Monday, February 22, to save $200 off the registration rate. Don’t miss your chance to learn alongside 6,000+ health care colleagues from May 3-5. Stay home, stay informed and save money!
ATLAS Program One-Year Mark
Shatterproof’s Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment, and Standards (ATLAS) platform recently reached its one-year mark of helping individuals search for and compare addiction treatment facilities. The program identifies facility locations, methods of accepted insurance, groups served, services provided, and best practices used. ATLAS currently serves 6 states and is hosting a comment period now through March 16, 2021 to allow the public to provide feedback on the platform.
Act Now for Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health. Reps. Tonko (D-NY) and Turner (R-OH) were joined by Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Braun (R-IN) in reintroducing the Medicaid Reentry Act (H.R. 955/S. 285). This bipartisan bill would allow states to restart Medicaid coverage for eligible incarcerated individuals up to 30 days before their release from jail or prison, improving access to needed services for one of the most vulnerable populations in the country. Act now to support the Medicaid Reentry Act!
New Advocacy Handbook. Check out our brand-new Advocacy Handbook! The Handbook has been updated with tips and tricks for virtual meetings with legislators, as well as templates for scheduling meetings and sending follow-up emails. Please share with your colleagues and let us know if you have any questions.
HAPPENING ON THE HILL
HHS Secretary Nomination Hearing. The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra on Tuesday, February 23.