Jun, 09, 2020

State Health Updates: June 5

COVID-19 State Updates

  • New Jersey – Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver announced the COVID-19 Short-Term Rental Assistance Program. The program will provide rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income as a result of the pandemic. Qualifying households will be expected to pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, and the program would pay the remainder up to a fair market rent payment standard.
  • New Mexico – The New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance partnered with the New Mexico Human Services Department, beWellnm, and the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool to develop a new online screening tool to help New Mexicans determine what health insurance coverage they may qualify for during the COVID-19 emergency.
  • New York – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the state is expanding COVID-19 testing criteria to include any individual who attended any of the recent protests across the state. The Governor encouraged any individual who attended a protest to get a test. 
  • Oregon – The Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services for the state of Oregon extended a Health Insurance Order directing all health insurers transacting insurance in Oregon to extend deadlines for reporting claims, institute grace periods for premium payment, and suspend cancellations and non-renewals through July 3, 2020 in light of the on-going COVID-19 health emergency.
  • Washington – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler extended his emergency order to state health insurers for an additional 30 days, requiring them to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing for COVID-19. The extension is effective immediately and applies to all state-regulated health insurance plans and short-term limited duration medical plans until July 3, 2020. 
  • Maine – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has collected data to analyze changes in services such as MaineCare, Food Supplement, child welfare programs, telehealth services, and behavioral health crisis lines as a result of COVID-19. DHHS published a data dashboard of the measures they are monitoring to assess and improve services during the pandemic.
  • North Carolina – Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 143 to address the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order directs state agencies and offices to provide targeted measures to help communities of color that have been affected by the pandemic. 

Other State Updates

  • Colorado – To help celebrate Pride Month 2020, the Colorado Division of Insurance, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, announced a new resource for Coloradans, LGBTQ Health Care Rights and Resources website. The site explains the rights and protections for LGBTQ Coloradans regarding health care services and health insurance.
  • Delaware – The Delaware Health Care Commission released preliminary data on health care spending in the state in calendar year 2018. The report follows the establishment in late 2018 of a state health care spending benchmark, a per-annum rate-of-growth benchmark for health care spending. 
  • Hawaii – The Department of Human Services announced that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Med-QUEST is rescinding the contract awards made to managed care organizations in January, canceling the RFP released August 2019, and will be issuing a new RFP this fall to address the evolving needs of the community amid this public health crisis.
  • Kentucky – Kentucky awarded Medicaid managed care contracts to Aetna, Humana, Molina, UnitedHealthcare, and WellCare/Centene, effective January 1, 2021. Contracts will run through December 31, 2024, with six additional two-year options.
  • Maine – The Offices of MaineCare Services and Aging and Disability Services announced that CMS has granted initial approval of Maine’s Statewide Transition Plan to bring settings into compliance with the federal home and community-based services regulations.
  • Washington – Pam MacEwan, Chief Executive Officer of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, issued a statement regarding the proposed 2021 health insurance rates for Washington state. In her statement, MacEwan noted that “the Exchange will feature Cascade Care health plans this fall, including the nation’s first public option health insurance plans. The number of Cascade Care applicants demonstrates that Washington continues to be a stable and attractive market for health insurance carriers.”