Mar, 24, 2023

State Health Updates

  • Arizona – The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System announced that they are partnering on a new public awareness campaign called “Hope Always Answers” that promotes the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline. Assets for the new public awareness campaign are available in English and Spanish at no cost, for use by local county health departments and community partners.
  • California
    • The Department of Health Care Services announced that it submitted a section 1902(e)(14) waiver request to renew eligibility for non-Modified Adjusted Gross Income (non-MAGI) populations without requesting additional information and to disregard increases in assets since the last Medi-Cal (Medicaid) determination. This waiver—which will be effective retroactive to March 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023—will increase the number of non-MAGI-based individuals who will have their coverage renewed during unwinding. California is planning to eliminate the asset limit entirely on January 1, 2024.
    • Governor Gavin Newsom announced that CalRx has secured a contract with a manufacturer (CIVICA) to make $30 insulin to all who need it. This will bring down the price of insulin by about 90%, saving cash-paying patients between $2,000 and $4,000 annually. Californians can learn more about CalRx on the newly launched website. The governor also announced that California will seek to manufacture its own Naloxone.
  • Colorado – Executive Director Kim Bimestefer of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) issued a message to stakeholders on the end of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement, describing the state’s compliance with CMS’ criteria for obtaining enhanced federal matching funds. The notice also shares communication resources, such as awareness posters and social media images, and encourages stakeholders’ active engagement in raising Medicaid enrollees’ awareness of the upcoming renewals and in helping connect those who no longer qualify to other forms of coverage. Also, HCPF announced they began sending text message reminders to Medicaid members who need to complete renewal paperwork to see if they still qualify for health coverage.
  • Connecticut – Governor Ned Lamont announced that his administration has taken measures to further expand access to affordable health insurance for personal care attendants (PCAs), who provide valuable services and support to more than 7,000 of Connecticut’s Medicaid enrollees so they can remain in their homes and communities. PCAs can apply for a new premium assistance benefit during a special enrollment period for coverage through Access Health CT, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace.
  • Kansas – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced that they have increased communication with KanCare (Medicaid) enrollees, healthcare providers, and other stakeholder groups in regular contact with the enrollee community to share information regarding the resumption of eligibility reviews. In addition, KanCare has updated its website to make it easier for people enrolled in Medicaid to update their contact information and complete the verification process.
  • Kentucky – Governor Andy Beshear signed a measure to expand access to healthcare services for Kentuckians. The measure, House Bill 75, also supports Kentucky’s hospitals by boosting Medicaid payment rates for outpatient procedures performed at hospitals. The law is expected to provide needed budgetary support for hospitals, especially the state’s rural healthcare facilities.
  • Louisiana – The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) announced that Louisiana Medicaid will start using text messages to send members important reminders about their health insurance coverage. These text messages may include reminders about renewals and reminders to update contact information. LDH also announced a series of webinars for providers on the end of Medicaid continuous coverage and the restart of Medicaid renewals.
  • Maryland – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced that it will maintain the current Medicaid reimbursement rates for evaluation and management (E&M) services for enrolled Marylanders. Typically, Medicaid payment rates to providers for E&M visits are lower when compared to Medicare. The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule recently decreased E&M rates by 2%, causing Medicaid rates to become slightly higher. MDH’s goal in maintaining the current Medicaid reimbursement rates is to enable doctors to provide the same access to care to Medicaid patients as it does to Medicare patients.
  • New Mexico – Governor Lujan Grisham signed into law House Bill 7, the Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Act, which prohibits public bodies, including local municipalities, from denying, restricting, or discriminating against an individual’s right to use or refuse reproductive healthcare or healthcare related to gender.
  • Oklahoma – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved the extension of Medicaid coverage for 12 months after pregnancy in Oklahoma. As a result, up to an additional 14,000 people in Oklahoma will be eligible for Medicaid for a full year after pregnancy. In total, an estimated 462,000 Americans across 30 states and the District of Columbia have now expanded access to postpartum coverage. As a reminder, SHVS published an issue brief on the American Rescue Plan Act’s option to extend postpartum coverage.  
  • Rhode Island – Governor Dan McKee announced that the state expects about half of Medicaid renewals to be passive and require no action from the enrollee. The state is working with community partners and advocates to conduct outreach efforts ahead of eligibility redeterminations. Those who cannot be passively renewed will be broken down into monthly renewals beginning April 1, with the last group of renewals beginning in March 2024. Of note, families with children will not start their Medicaid renewal process until December. The state is also offering mini grants to community partners to reach those most at risk during the renewal process.