State Health Updates
- Alabama – CMS approved Alabama’s application for a Section 1115 demonstration entitled “Community Waiver Program.” The 1115 demonstration will operate concurrently with a home and community-based services 1915(c) waiver in Alabama, a new opportunity in the state’s Medicaid program to meet the needs of additional individuals who prefer to get long-term care services and supports in their home or community rather than an institutional setting. CMS also launched this week a new webpage for state Medicaid agencies and stakeholders to advance transparency and innovation for home and community-based services. Through the new page, state Medicaid agencies and stakeholders can access information about states’ plans to enhance, expand, and strengthen home and community-based services across the country using new Medicaid funding made available by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
- California – The Department of Health Care Services updated the schedule for the release of the Medi-Cal Managed Care request for proposal (RFP). The RFP will be released February 2, 2022, and the implementation date for all MCP contracts will be January 1, 2024.
- Connecticut – Governor Ned Lamont highlighted the release of a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows that Connecticut has the highest rate of childhood immunizations of any state in the nation. According to the report, Connecticut achieved an estimated 80.2 percent coverage rate for the recommended immunization series among children by age 24 months—well above the national average of 70.5 percent and above the average for the New England region of 79.7 percent.
- Michigan – Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation establishing the Health and Aging Services Administration within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The newly-established agency will provide more coordinated services to Michigan’s growing aging population by combining the former MDHHS Aging and Adult Services Agency and Medical Services Administration under one umbrella within MDHHS. Michigan’s Medicaid office is also part of the new Health and Aging Services Administration.
- Minnesota – The Department of Human Services released a bulletin providing guidance for eligibility workers regarding Afghan immigrants’ eligibility for public programs. The bulletin explains that Afghan immigrants who are Special Immigrant Visa holders, Special Immigrant Conditional Residents, Special Immigrant Parolees, or Humanitarian Parolees in the United States are eligible for public programs to the same extent as refugees. As a reminder, SHVS recently hosted a webinar on state strategies to support Afghan evacuees in accessing health coverage.
- Montana – The state has requested a new five-year Section 1115 demonstration to expand access to coverage for substance use disorder treatment, treatment for serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbance, and limited services for individuals 30 days prior to release from the criminal justice system. The federal comment period is open through November 18, 2021.
- North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a funding opportunity that will award a total of $5.8 million to at least nine organizations statewide to increase access to high-quality opioid use disorder treatment for people in the criminal justice system.
- Texas – CMS announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) submitted a request to amend their Section 1115(a) demonstration to cover applied behavioral analysis services for children with autism spectrum disorder through the state’s Medicaid managed care program. HHSC would pay Medicaid plans using a non-risk model until experience data is available to set capitated rates. Public comments on the submitted Section 1115 waiver application will be accepted through November 14.
- Washington – The Health Care Authority released an update on individuals from Afghanistan entering the U.S. as Humanitarian Parolees and their eligibility for Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid program. The update details Apple Health program eligibility based on immigration status.