Apr, 14, 2023

State Health Updates

  • States of Unwinding – The second expert perspective in the new States of Unwinding series features updates from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York and Texas. This series highlights the work states are engaged in to operationalize unwinding following the expiration of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. States continue to focus on outreach and communication efforts. To share information with the public about the roll out of unwinding, states are publishing their unwinding plans and reporting how many enrollees they have renewed to date. Other efforts states are working on include: coordinating with their State-Based Marketplace; investing additional resources to increase their workforce and support the operations of unwinding; and leveraging federal flexibilities to implement more efficient renewal processes.
  • Arizona – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved the extension of Medicaid coverage for 12 months after pregnancy in Arizona. This approval marks 31 states and the District of Columbia that have extended postpartum Medicaid/CHIP coverage to a full year. As a reminder, SHVS published an issue brief on the American Rescue Plan Act’s option to extend postpartum coverage.  
  • California
    • Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California has secured a stockpile of Misoprostol, an abortion medication that can be taken on its own to induce a safe and effective abortion. More than 250,000 pills have already arrived in California, and the state has negotiated the ability to purchase up to 2 million Misoprostol pills as needed through CalRx.
    • The California Department of Health Care Services hosted a technical assistance webinar on newly released behavioral health screening and transition of care tools. Previously, multiple tools were in use to screen Medi-Cal (Medicaid) enrollees across the state, leading to inconsistencies in care. The new tools were developed with robust stakeholder input, including beta and pilot testing in a variety of counties across the state including counties with large urban areas, small population sizes, and large rural regions.
  • Colorado – Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace, published a report that provides a comprehensive look at the open enrollment period data and outcomes for plan year 2023. A record number of 212,174 Coloradans enrolled in coverage, of which 10,416 were undocumented individuals. The report also includes information such as average costs and enrollments by county and the significance of broker and assister enrollment assistance.
  • Delaware – The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services released its third annual healthcare benchmark trend report which analyzes trends in Delaware’s healthcare spending and quality, comparing new 2021 data against a set benchmark of 3.25%. In 2021, there was an 11.2% per capita increase, reflective of the state’s healthcare market rebounding from the reduction in healthcare spending and utilization in 2020 driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Idaho – Your Health Idaho, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace, released frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Medicaid continuous coverage unwinding that address topics such as what happens to someone who has lost coverage and what actions they need to take in order to maintain or transition to another source of coverage. The Marketplace also has step-by-step instructions for individuals referred from Medicaid to the Marketplace and instructions for individuals starting an application without a referral.
  • Illinois – The Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) unveiled a new and improved consumer complaints system to better serve Illinois insurance consumers. The IDOI Help Center improvements include a cleaner design and more intuitive interface to help consumers navigate the complaint process. Healthcare providers will also benefit from the system when they believe health coverage claims are delayed, denied, or unsatisfactorily settled by insurance companies and health maintenance organizations.
  • Kentucky – The Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange has created a webpage focused on the Medicaid unwinding which includes the state’s unwinding approach, a stakeholder FAQ document, and communications materials. The state is also hosting monthly stakeholder meetings to address questions individuals are encouraged to submit through a survey.
  • Massachusetts – Governor Maura Healey directed the University of Massachusetts and healthcare providers to take action to stockpile doses of Mifepristone, and the governor issued an executive order confirming protections for medication abortion under existing state law.
  • Michigan – Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that insurers representing 100% of the fully insured health insurance market in Michigan have agreed to maintain no-cost preventive services despite the ruling in Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra that struck down the requirement under the Affordable Care Act. The agreements apply to fully insured Michigan health insurance plans in the individual, small group, and large group markets, which includes plans sold on the Marketplace.
  • New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy and Chief Innovation Officer Beth Simone Noveck announced the launch of Transgender.NJ.gov—a new, one-stop hub designed to aid New Jersey’s transgender and non-binary community in finding information about essential programs and services. The website’s initial version contains information such as how to change a name, acquire legal assistance, obtain mental health and medical support, learn about rights and legal protections, and more. The website has launched as a beta version, allowing it to be continually updated and enhanced based on feedback from New Jerseyans and community stakeholders who use the site.
  • New Mexico
    • New Mexico has created the Medicaid Transition Premium Relief Program intended to support coverage transitions during the unwinding. Through the program, the first month’s premium may be paid for most people moving from Medicaid to beWellnm, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace. The program is meant to minimize coverage disruptions and lock-in consumer protections for qualifying individuals and families who need affordable coverage.
    • The New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance published guidance on New Mexico’s Health Insurance Marketplace Affordability Program for 2024. Program changes for the 2024 plan year include: improved out-of-pocket assistance between 250% to 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL); deductibles cannot apply to primary care or generic medications for Turquoise plans (plans with state-funded out-of-pocket assistance); issuers must use co-pays (not coinsurance) for primary care and generic drugs for Turquoise plans; an annual maximum out-of-pocket limit of $500 for an individual under 150% FPL; and issuers are required to offer the Standardized Health Plans adopted by the beWellnm Board of Directors.
  • New York – Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state will stockpile the abortion medication Misoprostol as part of ongoing efforts to protect access to abortion. At the governor’s direction, the New York State Department of Health will immediately begin purchasing Misoprostol in order to stockpile 150,000 doses, a five-year supply, in order to meet anticipated needs.
  • Pennsylvania – Governor Josh Shapiro launched a new website for reproductive healthcare access resources to provide help for those seeking critical services no matter what part of the state they live in or whether they are traveling from a state that has restricted abortion access. On the new site, the public can find information about medication abortions as well as in-clinic procedure abortions. Users can also take advantage of an interactive map and the “Find A Provider” tool to locate a local provider, seek assistance on their journey with help from the “Make A Plan” section, and get connected with financial support under “How to Pay.”