Jun, 22, 2021

State Health Updates


  • New Jersey – Governor Murphy signed legislation offering an additional year of special education to students with disabilities, noting that “The pandemic has been especially hard on students with disabilities who rely on school programs to ensure they have the skills and services they need to be successful following graduation. By providing an additional year for students who will otherwise age out allows to us acknowledge the unique impact of the pandemic on these students and help secure a better future for them and their families.
  • New York – Governor Cuomo announced 12 new pop-up vaccination sites will open in areas where zip code data shows the vaccination rate is significantly lower than the statewide average.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) is launching an expanded COVID-19 screening testing program to support public, charter and private K-12 schools in protecting students and staff from the spread of COVID-19. The program will launch in fall 2021 and schools can register to participate beginning in early July. DHHS also announced the state is expanding availability of its at-home COVID-19 test collection. Any North Carolina resident may receive a Pixel by Labcorp® COVID-19 PCR Test Home Collection Kit that is shipped overnight directly to their homes at no cost. Tests can be used on people age 2 and up. (https://ausoma.org/)
  • Ohio – Governor DeWine announced that the state emergency in Ohio caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted as of today. He urged those who have not yet received the vaccine to find a clinic near them by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Governor DeWine also announced that 3,428,514 vaccinated adults entered for a chance to win $1 million and 150,187 vaccinated youth entered for a chance to win a college scholarship in this week’s Ohio Vax-a-Million drawing. This is an increase in 66,311 adult entries and 6,583 youth entries over last week. 


Other State Updates

  • Colorado – Governor Jared Polis signed two health-related bills into law this week. HB21-1232 requires the establishment of a standardized health benefit plan to be offered alongside plans sold on the state-based marketplace and requires private insurance companies reduce premiums by 15 percent by 2025. SB21-175 establishes a prescription drug affordability review board and directs the board to review the affordability of certain drugs and establish upper payment limits for certain drugs.
  • Connecticut – Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation that declares racism a public health crisis, establishes a Commission on Racial Equity in Public Health to document and make recommendations to decrease the effect of racism on public health, and includes a requirement for state agencies to collect race, ethnicity, and language data using a standard set of categories based on the demographics of Connecticut.
  • Nevada – Governor Steve Sisolak signed legislation establishing a public option plan in the state. The legislation includes a requirement that MCOs offer plans on the marketplace, with the goal of reducing the plans’ average premium costs by 15 percent over four years. The first year the public option plans would be offered is 2026.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority published the Oregon School-Based Health Centers Status Report for 2021 which finds that school-based health center use fell from 130,586 visits during the 2018-2019 school year to 121,144 visits in the 2019-2020 school year, a seven percent decrease. But behavioral health visit and client counts slightly increased during that time, from 6,466 clients and 43,982 visits in 2018-2019 to 6,537 clients and 44,258 visits in 2019-2020.
  • Pennsylvania – The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs announced the availability of $7 million in funding for entities to provide pregnancy support services or make referrals to address the needs of pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder. The grants are part of $55 million in federal funding awarded to Pennsylvania through SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program COVID-19 Supplemental Awards. 
  • Tennessee – TennCare released a Medicaid managed care request for proposals to provide full-risk managed care services to members enrolled in Medicaid, CHIP and dual eligible special needs plans. The state intends to contract with three Medicaid plans. Contracts, worth approximately $12 billion annually will be implemented January 1, 2023 and run for three years with seven one-year renewal options.
  • Virginia – The Virginia Medicaid agency is soliciting recommendations on the best ways to invest ARP funding to support state COVID-related HCBS needs or activities aimed at building capacity in the broader Medicaid HCBS system.
  • West Virginia – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children and Pacify, a health technology company that provides 24/7 infant feeding support to new and expecting parents, announced the first Diversity in Lactation Consulting scholarship winner.  The winner will receive $1,000 to cover the cost of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners exam required to become an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The scholarship is designed to improve diversity among lactation consultants.
  • Wyoming – The Wyoming Department of Health announced changes to breast, cervical and colorectal screening services. The program offers financial coverage of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings for eligible Wyoming residents and beginning July 1, breast and cervical cancer screening services will expand coverage to include those who are considered underinsured.