State Health Updates
- Alaska – Governor Mike Dunleavy announced that effective March 9, the COVID-19 vaccine is available for all individuals who live or work in Alaska and are age 16 and older, making Alaska the first state in the nation to remove eligibility requirements.
- Colorado – The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing released Health First Colorado Telemedicine Evaluation: An Analysis of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The report evaluates the policy changes in telemedicine Colorado implemented and what is known thus far about their impacts on access to care and utilization, health equity, quality and member outcomes, and payment and reimbursement.
- Louisiana – The Department of Health is flagging for Medicaid enrollees that if they receive stimulus checks or unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 public health emergency they may need to report the income to Medicaid.
- Maine – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced a new, free option for people who need a ride to and from a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. DHHS is partnering with ModivCare, one of the organizations that coordinates rides for MaineCare members, to provide rides for any Maine resident who is unable to drive, lacks reliable transportation, or is otherwise unable to travel to their appointment.
- North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has expanded its vaccine data dashboard to provide more demographic data on people who are partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Users will be able to see vaccinations by race, ethnicity, gender and age group by county, by week and since vaccinations began. The information is displayed on a new tab named “Demographics” on the dashboard.
- Pennsylvania – Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller announced Pennsylvanians can now apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the phone. This accessibility enhancement will benefit the growing number of Pennsylvanians participating in the program during times of economic challenges, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Wisconsin – The Department of Human Services is working in partnership with the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Children and Families, and schools across the state to issue benefits to children missing free or reduced price school means for the 2020-2021 school year.
- District of Columbia, Minnesota and Rhode Island – The marketplaces in these three states released statements regarding the federal changes to the Affordable Care Act included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Other State Updates
- Connecticut – Access Health CT, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, recently published Health Disparities and Social Determinants of Health in Connecticut. The report summarizes a data-grounded project designed to identify the needs and opportunities of many communities in Connecticut. The project will allow Access Health CT to build a strategic framework that brings together appropriate public, private and non-profit sector entities in support of developing new products, services and delivery methods that can address health disparities.
- Minnesota – MNsure, the state’s official marketplace, announced that 2,285 Minnesotans have signed up for private health insurance coverage since the start of MNsure’s special enrollment period on February 16. The three-month special enrollment period runs through Monday, May 17.
- New York – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, announced that across all Marketplace programs enrollment increased by nearly 885,000 people from the end of the 2020 Open Enrollment Period in February 2020 to the end of February 2021. There are now 5.8 million people enrolled in coverage through NY State of Health—nearly one in three New Yorkers.
- Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority announced members of the next PartnerSHIP: the decision-making body overseeing the 2020-2024 State Health Improvement Plan known as Healthier Together Oregon. The PartnerSHIP includes representatives from priority populations and tribes, as well as agencies and organizations that will implement the plan.