On the week of Feb. 16 , the House Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce committees held mark-ups for their respective sections of “Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2021” (S. Con. Res. 5), the planned $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. The various House Committee bills were later combined into one package.  

In response to each Committee’s bill, NADP sent letters of support reflecting the Association’s policy goals for COVID relief. These goals include support for COBRA premium subsidies, an increase to the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid programs, and increased subsidies to consumers on the exchange platforms. NADP has advocated for relief included in the sections below.

Below are summaries of relevant sections of the packages as approved by their respective committees. Packages differ because of the jurisdiction of different congressional committees. The language will be combined in the final relief package.

House Ways and Means

  • Section 9501: 85% federal subsidy of COBRA premiums through Sept. 30.
    • COBRA plans must notify individuals who may elect COBRA coverage that they are eligible for COBRA premium subsidies.
    • An individual who may elect COBRA coverage but is not currently enrolled, or who ended enrollment before the implementation of the bill will have 60 days after the notification from the COBRA plan that they are eligible for premium credits to elect COBRA coverage.
      • The bill empowers the Departments of Treasury and Labor to create additional flexibilities for plans and individuals not eligible for premium credits.
  • Sec. 9661: Increased tax subsidies to individuals who purchase coverage on the exchanges. The bill caps annual income spent on medical premiums at 8.5% and removes the upper income limit on eligibility. Enhanced subsidies expire Dec. 31, 2022.

House Energy and Commerce

  • Sec. 3105: 5% increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for states that have expanded Medicaid coverage, expires in two years. States that have not expanded Medicaid when the bill is enacted may receive the enhanced rate for two years as soon as the state expands coverage.
  • Sec. 3102: Allows states, for five years, to extend full Medicaid eligibility to women for 12 months postpartum.
  • Sec. 3061: Provides $20 million for states to support State-Based Marketplaces (SBM) and modernize information technology systems.
  • Other provisions:
    • $46 billion for COVID-19 testing programs
    • $7.6 billion to community health centers
    • 100% FMAP for COVID-19 vaccines and treatment in Medicaid and CHIP
      • Mandatory coverage of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment for Medicaid and CHIP enrollees.
      • FMAP dollars may also be used to cover the cost of vaccinating the uninsured.

House Education and Labor

  • Same COBRA language as Ways and Means

For more information, contact Sr. Government Affairs Analyst Owen Urech.

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