Nov, 23, 2021

State Health Updates

  • Arizona – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) announced the award of expanded contracts to three AHCCCS Complete Care health plans to provide integrated physical and behavioral health services to Medicaid members who have a serious mental illness designation.
  • California – Covered California, the state-based marketplace, announced that three of its health insurance carriers will increase their compensation, by an estimated $22 million annually, for agents who help people sign up for coverage in the individual market. The increased compensation will come at no additional cost to consumers, as Covered California’s Licensed Insurance Agents are paid through the monthly premiums that the carriers receive.
  • Montana – The state updated its COVID-19 vaccine dashboard to reflect the addition of the newly added 5 to 11-year-old age group now eligible to be vaccinated. The eligible population percentage of Montanans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has been updated to 50 percent and the county percentages on the map have been adjusted accordingly as well.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced that Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Tailored Plans will launch December 1, 2022, instead of July 1, 2022. The updated implementation schedule recognizes community concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increased need for behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disabilities services. These additional five months will provide the Department and the Local Management Entities/Managed Care Organizations with the necessary time to ensure this transition addresses the complexities of a high-quality behavioral health and I/DD system.
  • Oregon
    • The state submitted an application to CMS requesting a new five-year Section 1115 demonstration to provide limited services to older adults and individuals with disabilities who are currently ineligible for Medicaid. The federal comment period will be open from November 16, 2021 through December 16, 2021.
    • The Measure 110 Drug Treatment and Recovery Act Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC), appointed by the Oregon Health Authority, is charged with developing rules and eligibility requirements for establishing Behavioral Health Resource Networks (BHRNs) throughout the state. The OAC announced that it will distribute $270 million in grants to organizations that will serve Oregonians who need treatment and support services for substance use, including housing, harm reduction, peer support, supported employment, and substance use disorder treatment. The BHRNs will also help people who request substance use support and other services in lieu of paying a fine for a Class E violation for possession of a small quantity of drugs.
  • Rhode Island – The Executive Office of Health and Human Services released a Medicaid managed care request for qualifications. The contracts to be awarded are worth approximately $1.4 billion annually and will cover over 300,000 individuals.
  • Utah – Governor Spencer Cox announced the formation of a new health initiative, the Utah Sustainable Health Collaborative, focused on reducing health care costs and improving health outcomes for Utahns. The patient-centric collaboration will convene a broad group of partners—including providers, payers, patients, community-based organizations, nonprofits, legislators, employers, and others—to pilot different models of health service delivery, access, and payment.
  • Virginia – CMS approved the state’s request to extend Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) postpartum coverage to 12 months. This approval makes Virginia the third state in the nation, following Illinois and New Jersey, to expand Medicaid to birthing people for 365 days after childbirth. The extended coverage will be available to Medicaid members in 2022, pending state confirmation and the Medicaid agency estimates the new policy will extend coverage for more than 6,000 members per year.
  • Wyoming – The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is inviting state residents to participate a series of upcoming forums that will inform the selection of strategies for the state health improvement plan. WDH, together with the State Health Improvement Plan Steering Committee organized by the department, chose behavioral health, access to healthcare, and unintentional injury as priorities following an earlier effort to evaluate health-related issues in the state.