Feb, 16, 2021

State Health Updates

COVID-19 Updates

  • Minnesota – The state published a bulletin announcing that it is extending eligibility for Refugee Cash Assistance to a maximum of 25 months for qualifying participants during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • North Carolina – As part of its partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to research public attitudes toward COVID-19, the North Carolina Central University Advanced Center for COVID-19 Related Disparities’ new research study shows communication about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 coupled with local access to COVID-19 vaccination can significantly reduce vaccine hesitancy among communities that have been marginalized. 
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority piloted and launched a new “Get Vaccinated Oregon” tool as part of a multi-pronged effort to provide older adults information about COVID-19 vaccinations. With the new tool, older adults in Oregon have four primary ways to get linked to local vaccine information.
  • Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services released a new data dashboard on the COVID-19 vaccine data page. The new dashboard is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of COVID-19 vaccine administration in Wisconsin. It consolidates previous visualizations regarding vaccine series completion and administration data by sex and age and also adds new metrics, including vaccines administered by race and ethnicity. As a reminder, we published an expert perspective on state strategies for monitoring vaccine administration by race.
  • Connecticut and Vermont – These states announced enrollment periods to provide residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic the opportunity to enroll in coverage, mirroring recent action by the Biden administration.

Other State Updates

  • California – The California Department of Health Care Services has proposed making certain telehealth flexibilities permanent and expanding others. The flexibilities, which were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, include payment parity, expanded coverage for services delivered by federally qualified health centers and rural health centers, and some coverage for audio-only telehealth. DHCS hopes to enact some of the proposals by July 1.
  • Kansas – Governor Laura Kelly announced legislation to expand Medicaid (Kancare) and provide health insurance for 165,000 Kansans. This Medicaid Expansion bill includes the same components as compromise legislation from last year, but with a few revisions including the removal of the Medicaid Expansion Surcharge to be paid by Kansas hospitals to offset the state general fund costs of expanding Medicaid and the addition of a proposed medical marijuana bill. 
  • New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy announced that health insurance signups through New Jersey’s new state-based marketplace surpassed the open enrollment period for the previous two years. Plan selections for 2021 coverage increased 9.4 percent over last year’s OEP.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority convened the SDOH Measurement Workgroup with the objective of recommending a measure related to the social determinants of health for consideration by Oregon’s Metrics and Scoring Committee and the Health Plan Quality Metrics Committee. The SDOH Measurement Workgroup issued a final report recommending a measure to incentivize screening for individual health-related social needs.
  • Pennsylvania – Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller outlined the Medicaid Work Supports system, a program designed to connect people whose health care is covered through Medicaid to local employment and training resources, with a goal of supporting people in finding long-term employment. DHS worked with partners across the state to implement a systematic identification and connection framework to increase workforce participation and long-term employment outcomes.