Several states have proposed legislation in recent years to implement a public insurance option and Nevada recently enacted a public option. As a precursor to proposing new legislation, state legislatures and governors sometimes create committees to study the feasibility of a public option and the impact such a policy would have on the state’s health care system. While frequently these studies focus solely on public option legislation, others also include an analysis of Medicaid buy-in, single and multi payer systems, and other changes to the state Medicaid program or marketplace. Studies are an important way to advance policy development and stakeholder engagement on the path to public option legislation.
This USofCare memo and checklist is based on a multi-state research effort to identify study best practices as well as our on the ground experience in states that have successfully advanced public options. A carefully constructed study can set policymakers up for success as they pursue this policy solution.