State Health Updates: July 17
COVID-19 State Updates
- Governor Gavin Newsom announced the availability of $600 million in funding for Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s response protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19. The $600 million in grant funding will be made available to counties, cities, and other government entities to purchase and rehabilitate housing including hotels, motels, and vacant apartment buildings, and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
- Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, approved a $440 million budget for fiscal year 2020-21 that includes a $30 million increase in marketing investments and $13 million for additional customer service upgrades to meet the needs of consumers.
- Colorado – Governor Jared Polis signed legislation into law that will give workers up to six paid sick leave days every year. The law also requires employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave to people infected with COVID-19 or who need to care for an infected relative.
- Delaware – The Division of Public Health announced a partnership with Walgreens to provide COVID-19 testing to residents, piloting the initiative at one location in each county starting Thursday, July 16.
- Iowa – Governor Kim Reynolds announced that $50 million in CARES Act funding will be invested in Iowa’s mental health care system. This investment includes directing funding to Medicaid providers of non-hospital based residential and outpatient services.
- Maine – MaineCare created a website to inform MaineCare members about the availability of telehealth and how they can access their health care services remotely.
- Nebraska – The state announced that dentists who may not have previously been eligible to receive funding through the Provider Relief Fund may now apply using the federal platform. Eligible dentists will receive a reimbursement of two percent of their annual reported patient revenue and will have until July 24, 2020 to apply for funding.
- New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy announced $20 million in CARES Act funding to support local food banks during the pandemic. The governor also highlighted nearly $390 million in additional federal funding for food assistance to New Jersey families and children. The Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson also wrote an op-ed summarizing how the state is providing food assistance to New Jersey families.
- New York – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the special enrollment period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended for another 30 days, through August 15, 2020, as the state continues to provide supportive services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, the state-based marketplace, or directly through insurers.
- Rhode Island – Governor Gina Raimondo announced a $25 million plan to expand home-based care options in the state to address the spread of COVID-19 in congregate living facilities. The plan includes investments in nursing facility supports to implement infection control, investments in capital and program changes to re-orient the delivery of care in nursing facilities, and targeted investments to expand home-base care options, through home-based workforce incentives, training and supports.
- Wisconsin – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a $100 million housing assistance program, authorized by the CARES Act, to help prevent evictions, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. In conjunction with the governor’s announcement, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency launched a COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program Request for Proposals to select local organizations to administer the housing assistance program.
Other State Updates
- Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Health Connector is reminding residents that applying for or maintaining Health Connector coverage is not counted as public charge under the federal immigration rule.
- Minnesota – Minnesota submitted a five year Section 1115 demonstration extension request seeking authority to provide Medicaid coverage to children ages 12 months through 23 months with household incomes between 275 and 283 percent of FPL and pregnant women during the presumptive eligibility period. The federal public comment period is open through August 14, 2020.
- Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Health Leadership Council released Better Health for Oregonians: Opportunities to Reduce Low-Value Care, a new report that seeks to lower the cost of health care by partnering with the medical community to identify low-value services. The report examines 47 measures and includes actionable opportunities to address the rise in health care costs and improve the effectiveness of care that is delivered to patients in Oregon.