State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS), in partnership with Manatt Health, Health Equity Solutions, Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR), the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), Bailit Health, and GMMB, developed this resource page to serve as an accessible “one-stop” source of health equity information for states. This resource is designed to support states seeking to make coverage and essential services available to all of their residents, regardless of where they live, how much money they make, or discrimination they face. SHVS will update this page frequently with new resources as they become available.
State Health and Value Strategies, in partnership with Health Equity Solutions, created the Health Equity Language Guide for State Officials which is comprised of three tools to help state officials with the language they use to discuss and write about race and health equity. The Guide includes definitions and explanations of words and phrases, how to think about their usage, and examples of how they might be applied.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate effects on people of color and increased attention to racial justice have given rise to new or expanded efforts to address health inequities. In a new issue brief by the Urban Institute, the authors examined how governments and organizations adopt community engagement approaches to collaborate and share power with communities that experience health inequities. Drawing on interviews with representatives from national organizations and stakeholders in four states, the authors identified principles and strategies that help build trust with and engage community members, including ensuring sufficient and flexible funding and cross-sector support, dedicating time and patience and forging continuity, and fighting structural racism more broadly. The urgency of the pandemic is not only a challenge but an opportunity to elevate and operationalize community voices to better understand drivers of inequities and develop solutions with community buy-in, ultimately leading to inclusive and sustainable progress toward health equity.
Longstanding racial and ethnic injustices contribute to disparities in vaccination rates among historically marginalized populations. We are building equity into every aspect of vaccine distribution in order to close the vaccination gap between white populations and Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and American Indian populations in North Carolina.
The Office of Health Equity seeks to acknowledge systemic racism and the social determinants of health to eliminate disparities by addressing and promoting health equity among all people in every community in New Mexico. The Office of Health Equity strives to provide equitable health opportunities by building relationships with communities, establishing collaborations with care providers and forging partnerships with stakeholders to provide quality service in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. These measures focus on ensuring all New Mexicans, especially in rural and under-served areas and borderlands, have increased opportunities to be healthy and promote the public health mission of the New Mexico Department of Health.
With the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), more people than ever before are eligible for financial help to pay for a health insurance plan. Estimates are that on average, 4 out of 5 customers can now find a health plan for less than $10 a month—a remarkable step to provide more affordable coverage, for more Americans. To promote these significant savings, Marketplaces are launching integrated and innovative outreach campaigns—including tapping into existing public health and COVID-19 vaccination efforts—to reach residents with this important information and get them enrolled. As vaccine distribution is increasingly going local, state marketplaces are tapping into trusted partners like local community centers, faith groups, and small businesses as well as coordinating with state and federal agencies to combine education and outreach to drive enrollment. As Marketplaces look for ways to ensure equitable outreach and enrollment, especially as our nation recovers from COVID-19, this expert perspective highlights a range of communications and outreach strategies to align with vaccine education and distribution.
A new open enrollment landscape created by the continued health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a national movement calling for racial justice, and the concurrent timing of a presidential election year is raising new challenges for states as they plan outreach and enrollment campaigns. Marketplaces are reimagining their campaign strategies to meet this moment, with plans to operationalize virtual activities, communicate with new and existing audiences, and reflect changing consumer behaviors in their outreach tactics. This expert perspective highlights strategies from SHVS’ 2-part webinar series on preparing for OEP 2021 and features several strategies states can pursue to help ensure a successful open enrollment period this year.
In light of recent postal delays and housing displacements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis, and a wave of natural disasters across the country, state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies face new challenges communicating with their enrollees about their health coverage. Acting now to mitigate these challenges is essential as states are preparing for the end of the public health emergency (PHE) and “catching up” on coverage renewals for a large portion of their enrollees. This expert perspective reviews strategies that state Medicaid and CHIP agencies may consider to help mitigate coverage losses.
On Wednesday, July 22, State Health and Value Strategies hosted part II of the Preparing for OEP 2021 webinar series that provided a deep dive into effective strategies to consider as states design their outreach and education campaigns for OEP 2021 in a shifting health care environment. Presenters from GMMB explored how the impacts of COVID-19 should inform the marketplace’s tactical campaign approaches for virtual outreach and partnership engagement, digital and social platform usage, and paid advertising and earned media. Participants also heard insights from several state officials from state-based marketplaces along the way. Topics for discussion included coordinating with state agencies, engaging micro-influencers, leveraging social media live streams, hosting virtual enrollment events, developing advertising buys, and considering new earned media hooks. This webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants can pose their questions to the experts on the line.
This expert perspective highlights examples employed by DC Health Link, the Oregon Health Authority, and beWellnm and the community-centered outreach they are using to actively enroll and connect consumers to care. The expert perspective also includes best practices surfaced for marketplaces and agencies to adapt their COVID-19 communications and outreach—and beyond—to ensure those with inequitable access to health coverage are prioritized and supported.
Considering both the public health crisis and future patient needs, Families USA has assembled state policy recommendations around three themes: 1) improving telehealth financing and implementation models to increase reach; 2) removing provider barriers to increase access to telehealth; and, 3) bridging the digital divide to improve patient access to telehealth services.
This analysis includes several key considerations intended to help state policymakers identify and overcome common barriers associated with integrating and operationalizing CHWs in Medicaid and other state health programs
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges for Navigators. To learn more about their experience, and how they are helping consumers manage often unexpected transitions in coverage, this blog post highlights conversations with six navigators across five states using the FFM to hear how they were faring.