May, 05, 2020

State Health Updates: May 1, 2020

COVID-19 State Updates

  • Addressing Social Risk Factors
    • California – Governor Gavin Newsom announced $3.64 million in new funding to expand the state’s Farm to Family program, including $2.86 million from the USDA and $775,000 committed by philanthropy to jumpstart a $15 million campaign to further support the program and California’s food banks through the end of the year. The Governor also highlighted critical expansions of CalFresh and EBT programs to combat food insecurity for low-income Californians, including a new Pandemic-EBT program for children who receive free or reduced lunch and EBT for online purchasing. (Alprazolam)
    • Pennsylvania – The Wolf Administration highlighted its efforts to address food insecurity in the commonwealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts include protecting the local supply chain, advocating for necessary waivers and resources, and ensuring equal access to healthy food for all.
  • Bulletins and Notices to Providers
    • New Jersey – The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services disseminated guidelines to behavioral health provider agencies to encourage the adoption of telemedicine/telehealth where practicable and appropriate.
  • Communications
    • Rhode Island – HealthSourceRI, the state-based marketplace, created a new fact sheet (available in English and Spanish) to give consumers insight into how they’ve responded to COVID-19 and information on how to enroll in coverage.
  • Special Enrollment Periods
    • California – Covered California announced that more than 84,000 people had enrolled in health care coverage since the exchange announced a SEP in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the exchange is sending more than 11 million emails to consumers to help them understand their health care coverage options during this unprecedented time.
    • Colorado – Connect for Health Colorado announced more than 10,000 Coloradans have signed up for a health insurance plan through the state’s emergency SEP, which ended yesterday.
    • Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Health Connector announced that over 45,000 people have enrolled in a new coverage or updated their coverage since the start of March. The SEP ends May 25.
    • Washington – The Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced that over 16,000 customers have selected a plan for coverage since the Exchange announced a special enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those that have enrolled, over 6,000 were previously uninsured. The Exchange is also reminding residents to sign up for coverage before May 8, when the SEP ends.
  • State Recovery Plans and Equity
    • New Jersey – In his vision to restart the state economy, Governor Murphy outlined six key principles and benchmarks to guide the process for restoring New Jersey’s economic health by ensuring public health. The benchmarks includes creating the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission to advise on the process and recommend responsible and equitable decisions.
    • Washington – Governor Jay Inslee announced a new COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard to aid the state in gauging when and how to best lift restrictions around “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” in Washington. The dashboard features five “dials” measuring different data points in the state, including risk to vulnerable populations measured by demographic and equity data. (valium)
  • Support for Providers
    • Arizona – AHCCCS, the state Medicaid program, is advancing $41 million to more than 106 provider organizations including hospitals, primary care providers, behavioral health outpatient providers, and justice clinic providers who participate in the agency’s Targeted Investments program to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Colorado – Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order directing the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide additional funds to nursing homes and other congregate care facilities in response to COVID-19.
  • Other
    • California
      • Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new portal to help parents, including essential workers and vulnerable families, find safe, reliable and accessible child care options. The new portal is available at and enables parents to enter their location and the type of care they need, instantly receiving a list of local center-based and family child care programs.
      • Covered California for Small Business announced a new program aimed at helping small businesses continue to provide insurance to their employees during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The program will allow employers, who provide coverage to their employees and were unable to pay their premiums for the month of April, an extra 30 days to make their payments for the months of April and May and a way to spread the costs of those premiums over the balance of the year.

Other State Updates

  • New Hampshire – The state officially submitted its Section 1332 waiver application for a state reinsurance program to CMS. We have updated our map to reflect this latest development.
  • Virginia – CoverVA announced that 400,000 Virginians have enrolled in health coverage through Medicaid expansion.