State Health Updates
- Covered California launched a new television ad campaign to reach uninsured Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ads began airing this week in California’s biggest media markets, in both English and Spanish, to make sure that consumers know that enrollment is open due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Biden-Harris Administration announced the opening of community vaccination sites in Oakland and Los Angeles. The two locations chosen for these efforts are in some of the most diverse and socioeconomically challenged communities in the country. The goal of establishing these joint federal pilot sites is to continue to expand the rate of vaccinations in California in an efficient, effective and equitable manner, with an explicit focus on making sure that communities with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure and infection are not left behind.
- Idaho – Your Health Idaho announced that a Special Enrollment Period will be established from March 1 to March 31 for eligible uninsured Idahoans to sign up for health insurance coverage. With this announcement, Idaho joins the federal marketplace and other state-based marketplaces giving consumers more time to enroll for 2021 coverage.
- Kansas – Governor Laura Kelly announced new steps to address data reporting issues that have inaccurately identified the number of individuals vaccinated for COVID-19 in Kansas. These steps, developed in partnership with providers, include introducing a new daily reporting snapshot, improving existing reporting by requiring the use of a template excel file, and addressing underlying technical and data transfer issues.
- New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy announced the launch of a community-based vaccination partnership to provide equitable access of the COVID-19 vaccine to under-resourced communities throughout New Jersey. The community-based vaccination sites are supported through a partnership by the New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and U.S. Department of Defense, in addition to local faith leaders, nonprofit organizations, local officials, and health departments.
- New York – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York’s health insurance open enrollment period will be further extended to May 15, 2021, aligning with states across the country.
- North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services added new resources to its Spanish language COVID-19 vaccination website, Protégete a ti y a los demás. ¡VACÚNATE!, including a new video on COVID-19 vaccines and tools for understanding vaccination groups and finding locations to get vaccinated.
- Pennsylvania – First Lady Frances Wolf addressed mental health, trauma, and equity during COVID-19 in a virtual conversation hosted on Facebook. This was the third conversation in a series titled, “The Bigger Picture,” an extension of One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views that hones in on various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists, which included senior state leadership, shed light on how matters of mental health, trauma, and equity have been amplified during the pandemic and highlighted state and community-based resources available to individuals in need of crisis counseling, mental or emotional support, and addiction treatment.
Other State Updates
- Alabama – The Alabama Medicaid Agency sent a formal letter to CMS to request to withdraw its Section 1115 demonstration waiver application entitled, “Alabama Medicaid Workforce Initiative,” which was originally submitted in June 2018.
- Arizona – Health Current, Arizona’s health information exchange, announced the selection of NowPow as the vendor of choice for Arizona’s closed loop referral system to address social determinants of health needs in Arizona. By connecting healthcare and community service providers on a single statewide technology platform, this new service promises to streamline the referral process, foster easier access to vital services, and provide confirmation when social services are delivered.
- Nevada –The State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services issued a Request for Proposals to provide comprehensive pharmacy benefits management services to the state’s Medicaid fee-for service and the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program populations.
- Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) selected three qualified dental managed care organizations, also known as Dental Benefit Plans (DBP), to execute the dental component of OHCA’s comprehensive managed care delivery system for certain SoonerCare members. The DBPs will assign dental homes to members, which will redirect members from using emergency department services, increase preventive care and reduce the need for high-cost restorative procedures, and have the ability to improve providers and specialist networks.