Nov, 02, 2021

State Health Updates

  • Colorado
    • The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health  and partners launched the I Matter program that provides up to three free counseling sessions for Coloradans ages 18 and younger or 21 and younger for those receiving special education services. Youth and their parents can visit the I Matter platform to take a confidential online survey about their mental health and schedule sessions with a licensed behavioral health clinician, primarily via telehealth.
    • The Office of Saving People Money on Health Care announced the release of a new report highlighting the need for a holistic focus on health care affordability. The report illustrates the importance of addressing out-of-pocket expenses for consumers, which can cause significant financial and emotional distress especially for those living with chronic diseases. 
  • Connecticut – Access Health CT (AHCT) hosted its annual Community Summit, preparing community partners, insurance carriers, brokers and certified application counselors for the upcoming annual open enrollment period starting November 1. As part of the annual event, AHCT recognizes a local community leader that demonstrates shared values, including resilience, determination and passion for delivering vital information and services to Connecticut communities. This year’s award was presented to Jason Jakubowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut Foodshare.
  • New Jersey
    • First Lady Tammy Murphy and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that CMS will expand Medicaid coverage for 365 days postpartum to improve maternal and infant health and decrease the racial disparity in birth outcomes in New Jersey. By extending this critical coverage, approximately 8,700 postpartum New Jerseyans annually will receive comprehensive access to healthcare for a full year through Medicaid. This approval makes New Jersey the second state in the nation and first state in the region to provide this Medicaid expansion with the goal of preventing postpartum related illness and death. As a reminder, SHVS has an issue brief and companion webinar that highlights state strategies to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality in Medicaid, which includes extending postpartum coverage to a full year.
    • Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman announced that applications for the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund (ENJF) cash assistance program are now open to eligible individuals who want to apply for the financial benefit. The $40 million ENJF program will provide a one-time, direct cash benefit to eligible households that suffered an economic hardship due to COVID-19 and were excluded from for federal stimulus checks and COVID-19 related unemployment assistance. This includes undocumented individuals, residents returning from the justice system, and any other individuals otherwise excluded from pandemic-related financial help.
  • Nevada – Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine launched a grant program aimed at helping children with disabilities and their families as part of the state’s economic recovery. The Transforming Opportunities for Toddlers and Students (TOTS) Grant Program is utilizing $5 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan to provide grants to children with disabilities through ABLE accounts.
  • North Carolina
    • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services joined 40 cross-sector health care organizations committing to using and sharing high-level data about race, ethnicity, language and gender to inform best practices to promote health equity. Recognizing data are too often limited to describe and inform health equity efforts, a Health Evolution Forum work group has been convening over the past year to agree on a consistent set of measures and an approach to collecting, stratifying and analyzing health disparities data. As a reminder, SHVS has an issue brief highlighting state efforts on the collection of race, ethnicity, and langauge data as well as one on the collection of sexual orientation and gender identify data
    • A research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine highlights the effectiveness of the state’s $25 Summer Card pilot program to encourage residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 . The letter provides data on guaranteed financial incentives for COVID-19 vaccination. Of 401 vaccine recipients surveyed, 41 percent reported the $25 card was an important reason why they decided to get vaccinated. The cards were more important to respondents who were not white as well as respondents with lower incomes.
  • West Virginia – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Drug Control Policy and the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment are hosting eight virtual public forums to allow residents to review and provide comment to the 2022 West Virginia Substance Use Response Plan. The plan describes the current substance use environment in West Virginia, highlights existing activities and initiatives to date, and presents a framework of evidence-based goals, strategies, and objectives to address the current gaps and needs.