Millions of Americans Gain Expanded Healthcare Access in 2024
The 2024 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters Final Rule is a federal policy that expands access to behavioral health services. The goal is to advance in creating a healthcare system that prioritizes equity, access, and affordability.
The policy changed special enrollment period qualifications on the public marketplace in 2024. Starting January 1, 2024, people losing Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage have 90 days to choose a plan.
The Final Rule creates two new community provider categories, Substance Use Disorder Treatment Centers and Mental Health Facilities, that are essential for delivering behavioral health care. These facilities include healthcare providers that serve high-risk, special needs, and underserved individuals.
Discover how millions of Americans are gaining expanded healthcare access in 2024.
Expansion of Mental and Behavioral Healthcare Services
Plans on the Marketplace must contract with at least 35% of available essential community providers in the service area for federally qualified health centers. These centers provide mental and behavioral healthcare and related services to vulnerable and medically underserved populations.
Plans on the Marketplace also must include at least 35% of providers in any given market in their networks. This requirement helps increase provider choice and expand access to people who are low-income, reside in underserved areas, or have complex or chronic conditions. These people typically are impacted more by the increased costs when they must receive out-of-network care.
Improvements in Marketplace Healthcare Plan Selection
The Final Rule streamlines the designs for standardized plan options. As a result, consumers have an easier time choosing a healthcare plan that best fits their individual needs and budget.
Stronger Enrollment Assistance for Healthcare Policies
The Final Rule lets Assisters provide more convenient, efficient help for consumers to enroll in Marketplace healthcare policies. Previously, Assisters could conduct direct outreach, provide education, and schedule follow-up appointments, but not provide enrollment assistance.
Letting Assisters help consumers enroll in Marketplace healthcare policies should improve health literacy in rural and underserved communities. This support also should reduce the burden on consumers, especially those who lack access to transportation, have inflexible work schedules, or are immunocompromised.
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