Public Option Bill Includes Participation Mandate for Hospitals

July 1, 2021

Senate Bill 5377 enacted during the 2021 legislative session makes some key modifications to public option health plans (also known as “Cascade Care Select”). The bill includes a provision mandating hospital participation in at least one public option plan upon receiving an offer to contract from a public option health plan. WSHA engaged heavily in the negotiations of the new law with lawmakers. This provision is effective if in 2022 or any subsequent year there are any counties that a public option health plan is not available to consumers (bare counties).

We recommend that hospital staff involved in payor contracting review our recent Bulletin for additional information and share it with your other relevant departments. As hospitals are discussing or negotiating with health carriers for plan year 2022, we recommend that your analysis includes the impact of Senate Bill 5377, including the eventual imposition of a hospital mandate to participate for plan year 2023. (Ashlen Strong,


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