Oct, 13, 2020

State Health Updates

COVID-19 Updates

  • Massachusetts – The Baker-Polito Administration announced over $5.5 million in grants to address urgent food insecurity for Massachusetts residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • North Carolina – The NC Department of Health and Human Services partnered with United Providers of Health to address unmet health care needs of historically marginalized communities. A new $7 million statewide effort will support NCDHHS’ COVID-19 response by providing preventive health care services, connections to mental health supports and helping to secure non-medical drivers of health like food and housing.  
  • Virginia – Governor Ralph Northam announced he is directing $12 million in additional funding from the federal CARES Act to Virginia’s Rent and Mortgage Relief Program, due to high demand for financial assistance. The program assists households and landlords with rent and mortgage payments to avoid eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19.

Other State Updates

  • Arizona — AHCCCS announced that managed care plans are now offering a $10 gift card to every AHCCCS member who receives a flu shot this season.
  • California – Covered California for Small Business unveiled the health plan choices and rates for small-business employers and their employees for the upcoming 2021 plan year. The statewide weighted average rate change will be 1.5 percent, which represents the lowest annual increase in the program’s seven-year history, and is significantly lower than national projected increases for larger employers.
  • Colorado – The Colorado Division of Insurance announced that the reinsurance program continues to deliver significant savings for Coloradans buying individual health insurance (meaning a plan not from an employer). For 2021, the reinsurance program will save consumers across Colorado an average of 20.8 percent over what premiums would have been without the program.
  • Connecticut – Access Health CT, the state-based exchange, announced a series of upcoming virtual educational sessions, known as “Healthy Chats.” The purpose of these online events is to help Connecticut residents become familiar with the marketplace, and the available tools to get coverage during the OEP. Healthy Chats can help Connecticut residents learn about plan options, financial help, low-cost and free coverage and tips to stay covered.
  • Kentucky – Governor Andy Beshear announced the state has reconnected kynect, the state-based exchange, in order to provide easier access to health coverage and other benefits. The platform offers expanded benefits, enhanced usability, a new mobile-friendly format and helps to ready the commonwealth for the return of the state-based exchange, scheduled for enrollment in 2021 to begin the exchange in January 2022. The move is expected to save Kentuckians about $15 million a year.
  • New Mexico – The New Mexico Human Services Department announced the online publication of its Department Performance Scorecard, which is designed to demonstrate transparency and show the public its priorities and performance. With a total of 31 measures, the scorecard categorizes measures among the department’s four goals related to improvement of members in receiving timely and accurate benefits, transparent communication, technology upgrades, and promoting an environment of mutual respect and trust.
  • North Carolina – NCDHHS’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services are partnering with UNC-TV and the Governor’s Institute to host several virtual mental health town hall meetings during October and November to listen to the concerns and experiences of consumers, family members and advocates of the state’s MH/DD/SAS services and system. 
  • Ohio – The Ohio Medicaid program released an RFA to solicit applications from managed care organizations as the state seeks to design a new managed care program. The selected MCOs will be part of a re-imagined Medicaid managed care program that unbundles the current program and will include a new single, statewide prepaid inpatient health plan. The OhioRISE Plan, will provide behavioral health services to children with serious/complex behavioral health needs that are at risk or in foster care and a single pharmacy benefit manager responsible for providing and managing pharmacy benefits for all Medicaid enrollees.
  • Pennsylvania – Governor Tom Wolf unveiled a new health reform plan that addresses comprehensive health reforms focusing on both physical and behavioral health and promoting affordability, accessibility, equity, and value in health care. The plan includes the establishment of an interagency health reform council, the formation of regional accountable health councils into managed care agreements, and the establishment of a health value commission with the state legislature.
  • Virginia – The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services is seeking participants for its 2021 Medicaid Member Advisory Committee. This advisory committee—made up entirely of Virginia Medicaid members or their authorized representatives—will help review health policies and services, making recommendations to the DMAS Director.