This toolkit provides a communications planning guide and template communications resources designed to support state Medicaid agencies as they prepare for the upcoming end of the continuous coverage requirement. The end of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement presents states with tremendous opportunities to keep individuals enrolled in health coverage. Developing a communications plan that reflects this goal will be essential to sharing clear, concise, and compelling information with Medicaid/CHIP enrollees and other consumers so that they know the steps they need to take, when to act, and what to do to maintain coverage.
On Wednesday, November 10 State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar that provided an overview of strategies for states seeking to ensure that eligible enrollees are able to keep or transition to new affordable health coverage when the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement ends. States will be resuming eligibility and enrollment activities for all enrollees in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and as part of their planning, states have an opportunity to retain coverage gains experienced over the pandemic period by taking steps to ensure that eligible enrollees are able to keep Medicaid/CHIP coverage, and those who are eligible for subsidized Marketplace coverage are transitioned and enrolled. Experts from Manatt Health and McKinsey & Company discussed how states can prepare now by deploying strategies to update enrollee contact information, and make other eligibility and enrollment technology changes to better serve their residents.
The End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Data and IT “Table Stakes” for Retaining Coverage Gains
Following the expiration of the Public Health Emergency (PHE), states will resume normal eligibility and enrollment activities for all enrollees in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The volume of expected redetermination activity at the end of the PHE is unprecedented. This issue brief reviews state Medicaid/CHIP agency data and information technology (IT) system “table stakes”—strategies that will have the highest impact for states seeking to ensure that eligible enrollees are able to keep or transition to new affordable health coverage when the PHE continuous coverage requirements end. If adopted, these strategies will also enable states to dramatically improve Medicaid/CHIP enrollment and coverage retention in the longer-term for people eligible for government subsidized health coverage.
On Wednesday, October 6 State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar that provided an overview of eligibility standards for evacuees and strategies that states can deploy to expeditiously enroll people into health coverage in order to access care. Tens of thousands of Afghans who fled the Taliban are awaiting resettlement, with many having already arrived in the U.S. living on military bases and being processed in several states. During the webinar, experts from Manatt Health reviewed new CMS guidance released on September 27, 2021 to help states understand what health coverage options are available to Afghan evacuees.
The Tracking Medicaid Enrollment Growth During COVID-19 Databook provides a comprehensive, detailed look at Medicaid enrollment trends to-date. Using Medicaid enrollment data from over 40 states, the Databook provides a comprehensive, detailed look at Medicaid enrollment trends from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic through January 2021. The Databook provides enrollment detail by state across four eligibility categories: expansion adults, children (including those enrolled in CHIP), non-expansion adults, and aged, blind, and disabled individuals. It also compares enrollment trends across expansion and non-expansion states. The Databook has been updated through January, 2021.
On Thursday, January 21 State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar on the long-awaited guidance to state Medicaid and CHIP agencies on resuming normal operations following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. During the webinar experts from Manatt Health discussed the sub-regulatory guidance and the implications for states, in light of the recent public health emergency renewal by Secretary Azar. The webinar reviewed the expectations laid out in the guidance related to timelines, consumer communications, and fair hearing processes for redetermining Medicaid eligibility for those who have had their coverage continuously maintained as a condition of receiving the temporary 6.2 percent FMAP increase under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Additionally, presenters discussed the expected processes and timelines for terminating, or making permanent where allowable, temporary federal flexibilities that were obtained.
CMS Guidance to States on Resuming Public Health Program Operations Post the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
On December 22, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released long-awaited guidance to state Medicaid and CHIP agencies on resuming normal operations following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This issue brief provides a high-level summary of the CMS guidance related to: (1) conducting redeterminations for Medicaid enrollees who were continuously enrolled; (2) terminating, or extending where appropriate, temporary flexibilities; and (3) developing a consumer and provider communication strategy.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) sets up a structure with key roles for both federal and state policymakers. From establishing a state-based marketplace to a temporary Maryland supplemental reinsurance program, Maryland has taken steps to make health insurance more affordable. This case study describes the measures taken by the state to improve affordability and coverage, identifies unique program design features, and discusses their bipartisan appeal as experienced in Maryland. Maryland’s efforts can serve as a helpful framework for other similarly situated states seeking to address pressing health coverage affordability issues.
On Wednesday, July 22, State Health and Value Strategies hosted part II of the Preparing for OEP 2021 webinar series that provided a deep dive into effective strategies to consider as states design their outreach and education campaigns for OEP 2021 in a shifting health care environment. Presenters from GMMB explored how the impacts of COVID-19 should inform the marketplace’s tactical campaign approaches for virtual outreach and partnership engagement, digital and social platform usage, and paid advertising and earned media. Participants also heard insights from several state officials from state-based marketplaces along the way. Topics for discussion included coordinating with state agencies, engaging micro-influencers, leveraging social media live streams, hosting virtual enrollment events, developing advertising buys, and considering new earned media hooks. This webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants can pose their questions to the experts on the line.
On Thursday, May 14, State Health and Value Strategies, in partnership with technical experts from Manatt Health, Levitis Strategies, GMMB, and the Urban Institute, hosted a webinar for states to help address the rapidly-evolving changes to the coverage environment. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, it has become clear that rising unemployment will substantially reduce employer sponsored health insurance. During the webinar, speakers discussed the models that have been published of where individuals are expected to gain coverage over the next 18 months, the impact on the Medicaid, individual, and employer-sponsored insurance markets, the role of special enrollment periods, and coordination with unemployment agencies. The webinar also highlighted communications opportunities and strategies for states to support enrollment.