Health Policy News – May 2019


This month, we are launching a new series of articles about alternative approaches to healthcare delivery—with a focus in this edition on approaches targeting social determinants of health, specifically nutrition, via health coverage. Stay tuned for an upcoming white paper that will include a review of Accountable Care models in a number of states, as well as a tool for states that compares approaches across existing state programs.

In this edition, we also share updates on recent developments at the federal and state level that we covered in previous editions, as many of these initiatives continue to evolve. Read on for articles bringing you the latest news relative to Association Health Plans (AHPs), following the recent court ruling invalidating much of last summer’s final rule on AHPs, as well as updates on major developments in the states of Washington and Tennessee.

Lastly, in addition to the summary of notable policy changes in the final 2020 Exchange guidance, we have prepared a presentation for our readers. As always, we welcome any questions you have about how these changes may affect your state at

Eat your Veggies!

As of 2010, diet has surpassed smoking as the leading cause of death for Americans- which translates to hundreds of billions of dollars being spent to combat diseases stemming from poor nutrition. The shift to treating health ailments with more than just medicine is not a new concept, but states continue to struggle to figure out how the cost of less traditional health care should be reimbursed—including integrating social determinants of health into effective, high quality care. Click here to learn about innovative approaches underway by health insurance carriers, nonprofits and hospital systems to address this dilemma—including first-of-its-kind federal funding for a prescription fruit and vegetable program pilot.

Plus, stay tuned as we update this article to include insight from interviews with those working on the ground to connect individuals and physicians with resources to implement prescription programs! Visit our blog for the latest updates on this topic and others.

Back to top

New Guidance on Association Health Plans

A Federal District Court ruling at the end of March—which HPN reported on in our last edition—invalidated major portions of last summer’s final Federal rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs). Since the final rule was already in effect for fully-insured AHPs and existing self-insured AHPs, and because a stay was not requested or issued on the ruling, this decision led to uncertainty for insurers, employers and enrollees regarding its impact on AHPs already operating under the new rule. In an effort to clear up the questions that arose following the ruling, the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued several pieces of guidance. Click here to read more about that guidance.

Back to top

Recent Developments in State Health Policy

This month, we’re sharing important developments in two state health policy efforts we covered previously: state efforts to advance a public option (with major updates coming out of the state of Washington) and Tennessee’s pursuit of a Medicaid Block Grant. Click here to read the latest on each of these topics.

Back to top

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: