Jan, 21, 2022

State Health Updates

  • Colorado – Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health exchange, announced that they will open a disaster relief special enrollment period for residents impacted by recent wildfires and the spike in COVID-19 cases. The disaster relief special enrollment period will be open until March 16, 2022.
  • Connecticut – Governor Ned Lamont announced that he has issued an executive order directing all nursing homes in Connecticut to require visitors to either show proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently tested negative for the virus in order to enter the facilities.
  • Louisiana – The Louisiana Department of Health released a request for proposals for an organization interested in serving as the single pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) for the state’s five Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), serving approximately 1.7 million members. Each MCO currently contracts with a separate PBM.
  • Minnesota
    • The Minnesota Department of Human Services (MNDHS) released a Medicaid managed care request for proposals (RFP) for the state’s Families and Children Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare Basic Health programs for the 80 counties covering the state outside of the Twin Cities. The state will award contracts to at least two MCOs in each county. Contracts will run for one year beginning on January 1, 2023, with five optional years. Proposals are due April 1, 2022.
    • MNDHS also released a request for proposals for home and community-based service employment providers to develop and implement a business model that phases out subminimum provider wages and transitions to competitive wages by April 1, 2024. Proposals are due January 31, 2022.
  • New Jersey
    • Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order requiring covered workers at healthcare facilities and high-risk congregate settings to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including having received a booster dose. All covered workers will no longer be permitted to submit to testing as an alternative to vaccination, except for the purposes of providing an accommodation for individuals exempt from vaccination. 
    • Governor Murphy signed a series of bills to combat the state’s opioid crisis and expand harm reduction efforts. Building on investments included in the Governor’s budget in recent years, the package creates multidisciplinary local overdose fatality review teams, which will provide insight into the circumstances surrounding fatal drug overdoses, and removes long-standing barriers to expanding access to harm reduction services and supplies.  
  • New York – NY State of Health, the state’s health insurance marketplace, and the New York State Department of Financial Services announced that the open enrollment period for 2022 Qualified Health Plans will remain open, consistent with the recent announcement that the federal government is extending the Public Health Emergency effective January 16, 2022. New Yorkers need to enroll by February 15 for coverage starting March 1.
  • North Carolina
    • The recently adopted North Carolina state budget includes funds to provide a one-time bonus to eligible home- and community-based direct care workers and support staff who provide services to Medicaid and NC Health Choice enrollees. The budget also includes a provision to implement a home- and community-based direct care worker wage increase for eligible employees who provide services to Medicaid and NC Health Choice enrollees.
    • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services signed an order that will enable NC Medicaid enrollees to obtain free at-home tests for COVID-19 from their local pharmacies. Enrollees will be able to select an at-home test at their preferred pharmacy and present their NC Medicaid ID card to the pharmacy which will bill Medicaid on the patient’s behalf.
  • Utah – The Utah Department of Health submitted to CMS two amendments to the state’s Primary Care Network 1115 demonstration waiver, which offers primary care services to certain non-disabled adults. The first amendment would provide temporary medical respite care to homeless Medicaid adults. The second amendment would expand Medicaid coverage for fertility preservation services for individuals with cancer. Federal comments for both amendments will be accepted through February 12.