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Medicaid Authorities and Options to Address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

Extensive research and the pandemic have elevated the importance of addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) to improve health and reduce longstanding disparities in health and health care. Social determinants of health include factors like socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, and social support networks, as well as access to health care. This brief describes options and federal Medicaid authorities states may use to address enrollees’ social determinants of health and provides state examples, including initiatives launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of this brief is on state-driven Medicaid efforts to address social determinants for nonelderly enrollees who do not meet functional status or health need criteria for home and community-based services (HCBS) programs.

Growth in Medicaid MCO Enrollment during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This data note looks at state Medicaid managed care enrollment data through March 2021 to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis on Medicaid enrollment. Data collected for 29 states show that the rate of Medicaid managed care enrollment growth was 18.8% when comparing managed care enrollment from March 2020 through March 2021. The rate accelerated compared to March 2020 through September 2020 and reversed the trend seen from March 2019 to March 2020 when aggregate growth declined.

Potential Implications of Policy Changes in Medicaid Drug Purchasing

This brief examines how leading federal and state policy options related to changes in Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (MDRP), drug pricing, and payment and management of the Medicaid prescription drug would affect state and federal governments as well as private industry (including drug manufacturers, managed care organizations, and pharmacies).

Health Insurer Financial Performance in 2020

This analysis examines insurers’ financial data across markets through the end of 2020. It finds that average margins remained relatively high compared to recent years, suggesting many insurers remained profitable even as health spending rebounded and COVID-19 cases surged in the fall and winter.

Health Insurer Financial Performance Through September 2020

In this brief, we analyze third quarter data from 2018 to 2020 to examine how insurance markets performed financially through the end of September. Average margins remained relatively high compared to the same point in recent years, suggesting many insurers remained profitable even as non-COVID-related care returned in the summer and fall.

CMS’s 2020 Final Medicaid Managed Care Rule: A Summary of Major Changes

On November 13, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized revisions to the Medicaid managed care regulations which were proposed in November 2018. CMS previously finalized a major revision to these regulations in 2016. The November 2020 final rule is not a wholesale revision of the 2016 regulations but adopts changes in areas including network adequacy, beneficiary protections, quality oversight, and rates and payment.

10 Things to Know about Medicaid Managed Care

This brief describes key themes related to the use of comprehensive, risk-based managed care in the Medicaid program and highlights data and trends related to MCO enrollment, service carve-ins, spending, MCO parent firms, provider rates, and state and plan activity related to quality, value-based payments, and the social determinants of health. It also provides important context for the role MCOs play in the Medicaid program overall as well as during the current COVID-19 public health emergency and related economic downturn.

State Medicaid Programs Respond to Meet COVID-19 Challenges: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. The findings are drawn from the 20th annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by KFF and Health Management Associates (HMA), in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD). This report focuses on Medicaid policy changes planned for FY 2021, particularly those related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medicaid Managed Care Rates and Flexibilities: State Options to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

This brief provides an overview of how Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) capitation rates are developed by states and approved by CMS, highlights options available to states to adjust current rates and/or risk sharing mechanisms, describes how MCOs pay providers, and outlines state options to direct MCO payments to providers in response to conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.