Arkansas: Information Technology Committee Considers Procurement for State-Based Marketplace

The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (AHIM) Information Technology (IT) Committee convened to review decision points related to procuring an IT solution for the State’s transition to a State-based Marketplace (SBM) for the individual market. Arkansas had previously released a request for proposals (RFP) to solicit a vendor to create a State-based SHOP Marketplace. The State is planning to transition to a State-based SHOP Marketplace in 2016 and an SBM for the individual market in 2017. AHIM also held a Marketing and Outreach Committee meeting to discuss SBM websites and branding.

D.C.: District Court Rules Broad-Based Assessment Legal

A lawsuit filed by the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) that challenged the broad-based assessment on all health carriers used to help fund the Marketplace has been dismissed. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on the basis that the ACA gives states broad authority to operate and provide adequate funding for Marketplaces.

Maine: Federal Appeals Court Blocks Governor’s Effort to Cut Young People from Medicaid

The U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a proposal from Governor LePage (R) that sought to drop Medicaid coverage for low-income 19- and 20-year-olds, stating that the proposal violated the ACA provision prohibiting states from tightening Medicaid eligibility until 2019. The State’s 2012 proposal, which was estimated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to save $3.7 million in state funds, was denied by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the following year. Governor LePage has indicated the State will appeal the ruling.

Massachusetts: Marketplace Releases RFP for Small Business Marketplace

The Massachusetts Health Connector released an RFP soliciting bids to build a new Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) website. The State seeks a vendor to build a consumer-facing website that will seamlessly integrate with back-end technology for ongoing administration and operational support. The new SHOP will offer three distinct health insurance product lines in addition to a stand-alone dental offering.

New York: Marketplace Announces New Tools to Assist Consumers Shopping for Health Plans

New York State of Health has enhanced the services and support tools available to consumers to assist with the enrollment process, including providing select informational materials in ten new languages and the launch of a Spanish version of the New York State of Health website. A new “Plan and Compare” feature will also be made available that summarizes available plans by county across the State to allow consumers to preview options before starting an application.

Rhode Island: Marketplace Requests $14.5 Million in State Budget Proposal

HealthSource Rhode Island (HSRI) director Christine Ferguson submitted a proposed FY 2016 budget to the Governor that forecasts total expenditures of $27.7 million, approximately $4 million more than the FY 2015 budget. According to the Providence Journal, $14.5 million of the forecasted expenditures must be generated by the State. In a letter accompanying the budget, Ferguson outlines potential strategies to generate the State’s portion, including broad-based claims assessments and the sale of HSRI tools and products to other states and entities.

South Carolina: New South Carolina Medicaid Director Takes His Post

Christian Soura, former deputy chief of staff to Governor Haley (R) during her first gubernatorial term, replaced outgoing Medicaid Director Tony Keck effective November 20. Mr. Soura previously served as the State Secretary of Administration in Pennsylvania and the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the PA Employee Benefits Trust Fund. The appointment requires State Senate approval.

Virginia: Cover Virginia Website Launches to Assist with Purchasing and Enrolling in Health Plans

Cover Virginia, a new website to assist consumers in applying for and renewing Qualified Health Plan coverage on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace or State public coverage, was launched. The website includes an eligibility screening tool to guide individuals to the appropriate program’s application website and links to a tool providing contact information for other assistors.