All posts by Margot Thistle

Margot Thistle, Esq. is a managing editor of Health Policy News who has spent much of her career working directly on Affordable Care Act policy and implementation, including having lead plan management operational and policy planning for Vermont Health Connect, a state-based exchange. During her time at PCG, Ms. Thistle has worked extensively with state insurance departments and state agencies on health policy, market stabilization, and regulatory compliance matters. Ms. Thistle provides broad policy and regulatory support to PCG’s other health care clients across the country, analyzing policy and regulatory developments, providing strategic advice relative to regulatory questions, and drafting policy briefs and position papers. Ms. Thistle still has her admission ticket to the signing of Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006, the historical Massachusetts health reform bill that preceded the ACA.

1115 Waiver Decisions issued by CMS

As we addressed in our report this past Spring, the use of Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers to address rising drug costs was a notable feature of the Federal administration’s recent drug proposal, and is an emerging policy trend.[1] The Federal administration’s 2019 budget proposes providing five states with Medicaid demonstration authority to test “drug coverage ...

Bipartisan Bill to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic Signed into Law

The Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (“SUPPORT Act”) was signed into law by the President on October 24, 2018, after passing the House and Senate with bipartisan support. A press release issued by the Senate explained that the Act aims to target the opioid epidemic ...

Health Policy News Hosts Round Table Discussion of Public Option Programs

On October 9th, Health Policy News held the second event in our 2018 Fall Webinar Series. This webinar featured a round table discussion on the history of public options, and the various design and programmatic options available to states crafting such programs. The webinar summarized and updated information included in the HPN report released this ...

Health Policy News Announces Fall Webinar Series

This fall, subject matter experts from Health Policy News will host a webinar series on State health policy activity. As states plan for their upcoming legislative sessions, we will explore recent State efforts to stabilize and support their insurance markets that could be models across the country. On Tuesday September 25th at 1:30 pm EST, ...

PCG Health Team Attends National Academy for State Health Policy Conference (#NASHPCONF18)

Members of the PCG Health team spent last week meeting many of our clients and colleagues at the 31st annual National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) conference in Jacksonville, FL. This conference provides the opportunity to learn from attendees about innovative projects underway at the state level. #NASHPCONF2018 highlighted policy changes that many states ...

Association Health Plans: Final Rule Fact Sheet

Background: On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs), which culminated a nine-month effort by the Federal administration to expand access to such plans. The Federal activity began on October 12, 2017 with the President’s signing of Executive Order 13813 “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition ...

Movement on drug cost containment at both the state and federal level

Health Policy News has devoted significant attention to State and Federal efforts to contain drug costs, including recently issuing a report and legislative tracking tool entitled “ Rising Prescription Drug Costs: A report on state and federal efforts to contain costs”. As we head into the summer we offer readers a few short updates on ...

Mitigating the Loss of the Individual Mandate: State Based Health Insurance Mandates

In December 2017, the federal administration’s tax bill – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, phased out the individual mandate requirements, with the penalty for failing to have qualified insurance eliminated starting in 2019. For 2018, the mandate remains, with the penalty set at $695 per adult or 2.5% of household income, whichever is higher.  ...

Insights and suggested activities for State Flexibility Grant Program applications

The State Flexibility to Stabilize the Market Grant Program (“State Flexibility Grant Program”) was developed to support states as they implement several of the market reforms and consumer protections under Title I of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This new funding opportunity builds upon many of the efforts currently underway in states related to the ...

Administration releases the proposed rule on association health plans

On January 4, the administration released the anticipated proposed rule broadening the ERISA definition of “employer” and expanding the options for small employers seeking insurance coverage, as foreshadowed in the President’s executive order on October 12, 2017. PCG subject matter experts reported on the potential impact of the President’s executive order back in October, and that article ...