Morning Plenary: States on Fire: Innovations to Increase Access and Lower Costs

Thursday, August 22 8:30 am 9:45 am
Getting to universal coverage is no easy task. The Affordable Care Act succeeded in lowering the nation’s rate of uninsured as initiatives to roll back its coverage and seek more market-driven solutions continue. Some advocate “Medicare for All.” But states can’t wait on federal action and have long developed incremental reforms to expand health coverage.

In this plenary, we examine the latest wave of state innovations. From California officials, we will hear about plans to cover undocumented immigrants and expand subsidies on its health insurance exchange to help more people purchase insurance. We’ll also learn how standard plans can help consumers find the right coverage, about Washington State’s new public option, and Colorado’s new purchasing alliance plan.

But state officials know that coverage gains won’t be sustainable if they are not affordable. We’ll hear how Delaware’s health care cost growth benchmarks – modeled after an earlier Massachusetts initiative – are working. California and Delaware, like a number of other states, are leveraging public purchasing power to lower drug costs, and the North Carolina state employee health plan, following Montana’s successful lead, is advancing reference pricing to pay providers based on adjusted Medicare rates. Colorado officials, with a new Agency to Save People Money on Health Care, will discuss hospital cost transparency and how their insurance rate review now includes an affordability standard.

These state leaders are re-thinking how to advance coverage AND lower costs and their discussion will highlight some of the issues and approaches that will be addressed in many sessions during the conference.

Moderator: Trish Riley, Executive Director, NASHP


Richard Figueroa
Speaker Richard Figueroa
Deputy Cabinet Secretary Office of CA Governor Gavin Newsom
Joe Bryant
Speaker Joe Bryant
Health Policy Advisor OGOV - Delaware
Elisabeth Arenales
Speaker Elisabeth Arenales
Senior Policy Advisor Office of Governor Jared Polis
Eileen Cody
Speaker Eileen Cody
Representative Washington State House of Representatives
Dee Jones
Speaker Dee Jones
Executive Director North Carolina State Health Plan