Jun, 07, 2024

State Health Updates

  • Arkansas – The Arkansas Department of Human Services announced that it will end its Medicaid managed care dental program and return enrollees who qualify for dental coverage to the Medicaid fee-for-service program beginning later this year.
  • California
    • Covered California, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace, announced that more than 158,000 Californians remained covered through the Medi-Cal to Covered California enrollment program over the past year during unwinding of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. Under the program, Covered California automatically enrolls individuals in one of its low-cost health plans when they lose Medi-Cal coverage and gain eligibility for financial help through Covered California.
    • On June 27, the Department of Health Care Services will host a webinar, Tools to Better Engage Eligible Members in CalAIM. The webinar is part of a biannual series of webinars designed to highlight best practices for implementing Enhanced Care Management and Community Supports, increase providers’ successful participation in CalAIM, and improve collaboration with Medi-Cal managed care plans, state and local government agencies, and others. 
  • Colorado – Governor Jared Polis signed several healthcare related bills into law, including HB24-1164 to expand free menstrual products to students in schools;  SB24-175 requiring health benefit plans to provide coverage for doula services; HB24-121 creating a separate health facility license for critical access hospitals to support rural hospitals; HB24-1045 which includes requirements for insurers related to treating substance-use disorders; and SB24-055 creating the agricultural and rural community behavioral health program. 
  • Connecticut – Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation strengthening the state’s laws governing paid sick days. Connecticut’s existing laws require employers with more than 50 employees, mostly in specific retail and service occupations, to provide their employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. Beginning January 1, 2025, these laws will apply to workers of nearly every occupation and the threshold for coverage will be lowered in three phases, beginning with employers that have at least 25 employees in 2025, those with at least 11 employees in 2026, and those with at least one employee beginning in 2027.
  • Hawai’i – Governor Josh Green and the Department of Human Services Med-QUEST Division announced that CMS approved a new state plan amendment to cover community palliative care services through Medicaid, making Hawai’i the first state in the nation to do so. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. 
  • Iowa – The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services is hosting virtual public comment sessions as they establish new Behavioral Health districts that will enhance access to behavioral health services.
  • Maryland – Governor Wes Moore announced the launch of a pilot program in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health and The Trevor Project to reduce deaths from suicide among LGBTQIA+ youth. 
  • Michigan – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) approved eight pre-paid inpatient health plans (PIHPs) to participate in the Recovery Incentives Pilot, which will expand access to evidence-based treatment for Medicaid enrollees who are living with certain substance-use disorders (SUDs). MDHHS, participating PIHPs and providers will collaborate to deliver motivational incentives, such as gift cards, to people living with an SUD who achieve their treatment goals. 
  • Minnesota – The Department of Human Services announced that Minnesotans covered by MinnesotaCare (the state’s Basic Health Program) will start paying monthly premiums again this summer to maintain their insurance coverage. Monthly premiums were paused during the public health emergency.
  • New Mexico
    • The New Mexico Human Services Department announced Medicaid reimbursement of community health workers (CHWs) and community health representatives (CHRs). CHWs and CHRs are trained, frontline public health workers who serve as a bridge between communities, healthcare systems, and state health departments. New Mexico will be the first state to eliminate the need for CHWs and CHRs to obtain an order from a physician or clinician before they see a new Medicaid member. 
    • The New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) announced it will hold a kickoff meeting for public and stakeholder engagement related to oversight of healthcare consolidation. Earlier this year, the state passed legislation which gives OSI tools to provide oversight of certain hospital transactions to ensure that such transactions will not drive up healthcare costs, reduce access to services, or diminish the quality of care. OSI invites all interested parties to take part and provide feedback.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) hosted a Spanish-language webinar on June 6 to discuss the new NCDHHS Community and Partner Engagement Initiative with North Carolina community advocates, partners, leaders and other members of the Hispanic and Latinx community. NCDHHS launched the initiative earlier this year to address ongoing health disparities.
  • North Dakota – North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) has completed all redeterminations related to unwinding. Since April 2023, HHS has reviewed eligibility for over 134,000 Medicaid members. 
  • Oregon CMS approved Oregon’s Basic Health Program (BHP) Blueprint. Through the BHP, Oregon will be able to provide healthcare coverage to individuals with incomes between 138% to 200% of the federal poverty level. Individuals enrolled in the BHP will receive a comprehensive benefit package, including all essential health benefits, and will not be charged premiums or other cost-sharing.
  • Pennsylvania – Governor Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich announced the publication of Aging Our Way, PA, a 10-year strategic plan that serves as a roadmap for services for older adults, and addresses healthcare, transportation, housing, long-term care and social connections.
  • Washington – The Washington State Health Care Authority launched a program that expands access to medications for opioid-use disorder. The program, ScalaNW, equips emergency room clinicians with tools to treat patients for opioid-use disorder and connect them to community-based care.