Mar, 29, 2021

State Health Updates

COVID-19 Updates

  • Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Health Connector announced that it will be able to provide hundreds of thousands of people with new and increased help to pay for their health insurance premiums as a result of the recently enacted American Rescue Plan, starting for May coverage.
  • Michigan – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that approximately 350,000 Michigan families will continue to have access to additional food assistance benefits during March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan previously approved the additional food assistance beginning in March 2020 – and now that is being extended for March 2021 with approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.
  • New York – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced expanded tax credits are available through NY State of Health, New York’s health plan marketplace. In June 2021, NY State of Health will expand tax credits to tens of thousands of additional New Yorkers with higher incomes who, before the American Rescue Plan, did not qualify for financial assistance. Governor Cuomo also announced that the 2021 OEP will be extended through the end of this year.
  • North Carolina
    • To help reach those who are in need of testing, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with LabCorp, is piloting a program to provide 35,000 no-cost, home test collection kits to North Carolinians receiving Food and Nutrition Services and/or who are disabled and experiencing barriers to getting tested.
    • Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, launched new public private partnership, Healthier Together: Health Equity Action Network, which will enhance the state’s work to deliver equitable access to vaccines, and DHHS released a new biweekly equity data report to provide another avenue for transparency. 
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority announced that 1 million Oregonians have been vaccinated with one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Rhode Island – HealthSource RI’s special enrollment period has been extended through August 15, 2021, following President Biden’s decision to create another opportunity for Americans to sign up for health coverage. The extended deadline gives new and current customers a chance to receive new savings created by the American Rescue Plan. Eligible Rhode Islanders will receive increased tax credits to help reduce their monthly coverage costs thr­­­ough HealthSource RI.
  • Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services launched a redesign of the vaccine distribution summary of their COVID-19 vaccine data page. The new allocation and administration dashboard displays key metrics related to Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccination program, including total doses administered by provider type.

Other State Updates

  • Hawaii – The Hawaii Department of Human Services announced the extension of their QUEST Integration Medicaid managed care contracts. Implementation is slated to begin July 1, 2021, with contracts running to December 31, 2026, with three additional optional years. The total contract worth, including optional years, is $17 billion.
  • Minnesota – The Department of Human Services announced new federally funded Community Resource Hubs to help pregnant and parenting families with children age eight and younger navigate Minnesota’s early childhood system. This shifts the burden of finding help from those seeking services to organizations that connect them with the supports they need. The $6 million outlay is part of a $26.7 million total investment that will occur over the next two years.
  • Nevada – The Division of Health Care Financing and Policy released a request for proposals for the Nevada Medicaid and CHIP managed care program. Selected MCOs must also participate in the state-based ACA Exchange, providing at least one silver and one gold qualified health plan by 2024.
  • New York – The state submitted a request for a three-year extension to its Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Section 1115 demonstration to CMS. New York is requesting two changes to MRT: carving out non-emergency medical transportation and pharmacy coverage from managed care. The federal public comment period is open through April 23, 2021.
  • North Carolina – To support the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ goals to achieve health equity, NC Medicaid is introducing an enhanced payment to Carolina Access primary care practices serving enrollees from areas of the state with high poverty rates. These payments will be available for three months as a limited initiative from April to June 2021.
  • Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin – The insurance commissioners in these 14 states sent a letter to CCIIO and Treasury requesting that the agencies calculate each state’s final pass-through funding for their reinsurance programs by taking into account the changes in law resulting from the American Rescue Plan and the expected impact on federal spending. As a reminder, SHVS tracks state Section 1332 waiver activity via our map.