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.

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 HPN team was joined by a buy-in expert from the PCG Health ...

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 ...

Impact of recent federal policy changes on open enrollment

Open Enrollment Period (OEP) The fifth open enrollment period (OEP 5) kicked off on November 1, 2017, with a shortened enrollment window compared to previous years. With only until December 15th to make eligibility and enrollment changes, states have been urging consumers to make selections early and seek assistance from application assisters, insurance agents or ...

Insights from the annual National Academy for State Health Policy (#NASHPCONF17)

PCG subject matter experts were in Portland, Oregon last week at the 30th annual #NASHPCONF17. With a focus on guiding state policy makers though the changing health policy landscape, #NASHPCONF17 provided a break from the day to day, reactionary work to adjust to federal policy. The conference served as an opportunity for state health policy ...