Sep, 07, 2021

State Health Updates

  • California – Covered California announced that the statewide weighted average rate change for dental coverage in 2022 will be a decrease of 1.0 percent. The latest data shows that more than 230,000 people are enrolled in Covered California’s dental plans, which represents a 15 percent increase over last year.
  • Colorado
    • The Colorado Division of Insurance is hosting a series of virtual stakeholder meetings designed to address specific stakeholder groups and the concerns of those groups regarding the Colorado Option and the standardized benefit plan being developed. Starting in 2023, the Colorado Option will be available to all Coloradans who buy their health insurance on the individual market and small employers with less than 100 employees. As part of the Colorado Option, the Division of Insurance will create a standardized plan which will allow consumers and businesses to easily compare plans and choose the plan that is right for them.
    • Connect for Health Colorado, the state-based marketplace, announced that as of August 15, the last day of the enrollment period, more than 200,000 Coloradans have signed up for a plan that provides coverage this year. That total is 21,000 more health insurance plan sign ups than the same day last year—a nearly 11 percent increase.
  • Illinois – Governor JB Pritzker signed two pieces of legislation into law to expand the mental health care infrastructure in Illinois. House Bill 2595 requires medically necessary mental health care, including coverage for mental, emotional, nervous or substance use disorders, to be covered by insurance beginning January 1, 2023. Additionally, House Bill 2784 creates a first responder system that will coordinate 911 and 988 emergency responses when the national 988 mental health crisis line is established in the summer of 2022. This initiative aims to reduce arrests for those with mental illnesses.
  • Kansas
    • The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced the release of the Kansas COVID County Ranking report. This report is designed to help county commissioners and local leaders stop the spread of COVID-19 in their communities by tracking critical COVID-19 metrics including testing, case and vaccination rates.
    • As the Delta variant continues to rapidly spread and recent federal data shows a record-high number of children are hospitalized because of COVID-19, Governor Laura Kelly released two new ads encouraging students and their families to use public health practices as they head back to school this fall. The first ad, “Kids Spread Germs,” talks about just how contagious and serious the Delta variant is and urges parents to follow three core steps to keep kids safe. The second ad, “Your Decision,” urges college students who are over the age of 18 to get the information they need and make the decision to get a free and safe vaccine.
  • Maryland – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the state-based marketplace, announced that more than 200,000 Marylanders enrolled through the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment on Maryland Health Connection from March 16, 2020 to its conclusion on August 15, 2021.
  • Minnesota – Governor Walz announced the conclusion of Minnesota’s $100 COVID-19 vaccine incentive program, with nearly 80,000 Minnesotans who received their first dose of vaccine since July 30 signing up for the reward. The program has helped drive up Minnesota’s vaccination rate over the past month and was particularly popular among Minnesotans whose vaccination rates are lower than the statewide average. Governor Walz initially authorized $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to start the rewards program and the legislative COVID-19 Response Commission approved an additional $13.8 million to ensure the program’s funding would meet demand.
  • Nevada – Nevada Health Link, the state-based marketplace, announced that more than 17,000 Nevadans took advantage of premium savings during an open enrollment period created by the American Rescue Plan. The online insurance marketplace increased total enrollments by 7.6 percent during American Rescue Plan enrollment period.
  • New Jersey – The New Jersey Department of Health awarded a $450,000 grant to HealthConnect One to develop a diverse community doula workforce to support women during pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early parenting. HealthConnect One will establish a Doula Learning Collaborative to increase the number of trained community doulas. The Doula Learning Collaborative will also support doulas in engaging with multiple health systems and process Medicaid reimbursement claims for their services.
  • New York – The New York State Department of Health Office of Health Insurance Programs published a Section 1115 Waiver Demonstration: Conceptual Framework focused on building a federal-state partnership to address health disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is requesting $17 billion over five years to support an array of multi-faceted and linked initiatives in order to change the way the Medicaid program integrates and pays for social care and health care in the state.
  • Pennsylvania – The Pennsylvania Departments of Education, Health, Human Services and Insurance are reminding families to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date as part of back-to-school preparations. Immunization requirements also extend to students of cyber and charter schools. The departments are reminding residents that under the ACA, most insurance plans, including those bought through the federal Marketplace, as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid, are required to cover school vaccinations as a free preventive service without charging a copayment or coinsurance.
  • Oregon – The Division of Financial Regulation released its final rate decisions for 2022 health insurance plans. The division announced a weighted average increase of 1.5 percent in both the individual market as well as the small group market. Additionally, the Oregon reinsurance program continues to help stabilize the market—lowering rates by 6 percent for the fourth straight year.