Aug, 25, 2020

State Health Updates

COVID-19 Updates

  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced its selection of an additional vendor to continue to address surging COVID-19 testing capacity in the state. The selected vendor will provide turnkey testing sites and will leverage in-house laboratory capacity to provide timely testing results. As with all NCDHHS-supported testing sites, there will be no co-pays or cost-sharing for anyone seeking testing, including North Carolinians who are uninsured.
  • Oregon – OHA is soliciting grant applications from not-for-profit organizations statewide, Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes and the Urban Indian Health Program. The grants will be funded with $45 million in federal CARES Act coronavirus relief funds and are intended to address the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Oregon’s tribal communities and communities of color.
  • Pennsylvania – The Secretary of Health issued an order requiring nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living residences and private intermediate care facilities to develop, implement and adhere to policies and procedures to procure and distribute personal protective equipment to staff providing direct care to COVID-19 positive residents by Thursday, August 27.
  • Washington – Governor Jay Inslee issued an update to Proclamation 20-57, “Concerning the Health of Agricultural Workers” to require agricultural employers to test their workforce broadly when health officials identify an outbreak that passes certain thresholds. We have updated our expert perspective Essential Workers in Challenging Environments: How States Are Working to Protect Farmworkers to reflect this latest development.
  • Wisconsin – To support residents in making safer choices, the Department of Health Services has launched a new Decision Tool for Individuals and Families. The aim of the Decision Tool is to help people assess risk and determine the best course of action to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe and is designed to give Wisconsinites necessary information to make choices that will help stop the spread.

Other State Updates

  • Minnesota – MNsure, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, announced that its open enrollment will run from Sunday, November 1, 2020, through Tuesday, December 22, 2020. Minnesota’s enrollment period will be seven days longer than the federal open enrollment period, giving Minnesotans an extra week to enroll in health care coverage.
  • Nebraska – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Behavioral Health is seeking input from key stakeholders and the public to assist with the development of a strategic plan. The feedback will be incorporated into a systemic needs assessment that will lead to the development of a new three-year strategic plan for DBH beginning in 2021.
  • New Hampshire – The New Hampshire Insurance Department announced that the proposed rate for the second lowest cost silver plan has decreased 21.2 percent compared to 2020. The Insurance Department is attributing the premium rate decreases for plan year 2021 in part to overall market trends, and in part to the approval of the Department’s Section 1332 Waiver. As a reminder, SHVS continues to track Section 1332 waivers.
  • Oregon – The Vaping Public Health Work Group issued recommendations to address the epidemic of vaping-related illness and youth vaping in Oregon. The work group’s membership includes doctors and experts in pulmonology, pediatrics, and public health, as well as state legislators and state agency representatives.
  • Utah – The state submitted an application to amend their demonstration to pay for services to Medicaid beneficiaries who receive inpatient psychiatric treatment or residential mental health treatment in an Institution for Mental Diseases with more than 16 beds. The federal public comment period will be open through September, 17 2020.