In This Week’s Update:
- Call Center Strategies to Support Unwinding
- State-Based Marketplace Transition Data During Unwinding
- Surveys to Monitor Coverage Transitions During the Unwinding
- Increasing Access, Quality, and Equity in Postpartum Care in Medicaid and CHIP
- Promising Strategies to Help Medicaid Enrollees Retain Insurance Coverage
- State updates: AR, AZ, KY, MA, MI, MN, NC, NJ, PA, RI, UT, WA, WI & WY
Call Center Strategies to Support Unwinding
Last week, State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) published a new resource, Call Center Strategies to Support Unwinding: State Toolkit. Medicaid, CHIP, Marketplace and integrated human services call centers are experiencing a surge in the number of callers seeking information about their health coverage with the end of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. Recognizing the crucial role of call centers in supporting enrollees throughout the eligibility and enrollment process, states can use this toolkit to identify opportunities and explore strategies to improve call center functionality. As a reminder, SHVS has created a one-stop resource page to support states as they plan for and implement unwinding.
State-Based Marketplace Transition Data During Unwinding
Also last week, SHVS published a new expert perspective, State-Based Marketplace Transition Data During the Unwinding. Given the potential to reduce coverage losses during the unwinding, there is intense interest in data that monitors transitions between Medicaid and Marketplace coverage. State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs) that operate their own eligibility platform should consider releasing available data on Marketplace transition outcomes. This expert perspective highlights recommendations for SBMs, such as providing context and making the data easy to find. The expert perspective includes an interactive map with links to SBMs reporting Marketplace transition outcome data and a table of the indicators that states are reporting on. SHVS also continues to monitor states that are publicly reporting unwinding data in the form of state dashboards or reports to CMS.
Surveys to Monitor Coverage Transitions During the Unwinding
As states are operationalizing the unwinding, policymakers, advocates and the media are watching state and federal administrative data closely to quantify the number of successful Medicaid renewals and coverage terminations. However, this data is limited in telling the story of what happens to enrollees after leaving Medicaid. A new SHVS expert perspective describes how states can use consumer surveys to better understand coverage transitions during the unwinding. The expert perspective highlights survey recommendations, such as survey mode, target population and timing, communications best practices and agency coordination, and includes a list of sample survey questions for states to download and use.
Increasing Access, Quality, and Equity in Postpartum Care in Medicaid and CHIP
CMS released a new resource, Increasing Access, Quality, and Equity in Postpartum Care in Medicaid and CHIP: A Toolkit for State Medicaid and CHIP Agencies. This toolkit provides practical information to help state Medicaid and CHIP agencies maximize the use of existing authorities to increase postpartum care access, quality, and equity for Medicaid and CHIP enrollees. The toolkit also includes a strategy checklist and suggestions for partnering with Medicaid and CHIP managed care plans to implement quality improvement strategies. More than half of pregnancy-related deaths occur in the postpartum period, and 12% occur after six weeks postpartum. Medicaid and CHIP programs can engage in opportunities to improve postpartum care and work to eliminate preventable maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, and inequities.
State updates: AR, AZ, KY, MA, MI, MN, NC, NJ, PA, RI, UT, WA, WI & WY
- The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has released a request for proposal to solicit participation by managed care organizations to provide healthcare services to members of the Arizona Long Term Care System who are elderly and/or who have a physical disability.
- AHCCCS announced a series of community meetings designed to help Medicaid members, families, and stakeholders learn about programs and initiatives, and to solicit feedback.
- Arkansas – The Arkansas Department of Human Services released its July report on Medicaid unwinding. In July, more than 50,000 cases were renewed after eligibility was confirmed, and 82,279 enrollees were disenrolled.
- Kentucky – The Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange created a “Back-to-School” outreach flier to inform families who are enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP coverage that their renewal letter will be coming soon and the actions they need to take to remain covered. The flyer, which is also available in Spanish, includes contact information and a QR code directing individuals to more information about the unwinding.
- Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) announced its intent to submit an amendment request for the MassHealth section 1115 demonstration. The waiver amendment seeks to provide 12 months continuous eligibility to adults and 24 months continuous eligibility for members experiencing homelessness who are 65 years old and over. It will also provide Medicaid services to individuals who are incarcerated in a public institution for 90 days prior to their expected release. EOHHS will accept comments through September 9.
- Michigan – Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a fiscal year 2024 budget that includes $150.6 million to increase reimbursement rates for Medicaid services to improve enrollee access to necessary healthcare. The budget also includes $56.4 million to fund the “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” program and $6.2 million to fund the “Medicaid Plan First!” program for family planning services and cancer screening.
- Minnesota – The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced that nearly 50,000 Minnesotans took action to renew their Medicaid or MinnesotaCare (the state’s basic health program) coverage in the state’s first group to renew coverage since the COVID-19 pandemic. Coverage was extended until the fall for 10,000 enrollees who get their coverage based on having a disability, being blind or being aged 65 years or older as part of the state’s mitigation plan with CMS. Medicaid coverage ended for about 5,600 people who submitted forms and were found ineligible and for about 32,600 people whose status is unknown.
- New Jersey
- The New Jersey Department of Human Services is making available $250,000 in grants as part of the ongoing Cover All Kids initiative to organizations to provide education, outreach and application assistance to low-income and immigrant communities to help get uninsured kids who are eligible for NJ FamilyCare enrolled. Cover All Kids provides comprehensive health coverage through NJ FamilyCare to all income-eligible children in New Jersey who are under 19 years old, regardless of immigration status.
- The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance announced it is accepting applications for community organizations to serve as Navigators to assist residents with health insurance enrollment for the upcoming open enrollment period and throughout 2024. The department is making available a total of $5 million in grant funding for Navigators in an effort to ensure enrollment assistance is available in the community for residents seeking coverage.
- North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced the launch of BreastfeedNC.com, a new website dedicated to providing comprehensive information and resources to support mothers and families across North Carolina who are interested in breastfeeding. NCDHHS aims to create a user-friendly platform that educates mothers, families and healthcare professionals on the importance of breastfeeding, as well as the resources available to facilitate more successful breastfeeding journeys.
- Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys announced a public comment period on the proposed 2024 health insurance rate increases in the Pennsylvania individual and small group market. For 2024, insurers currently selling in the individual market filed plans requesting an average statewide increase of 4.2%.
- Rhode Island – The Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services announced a grant opportunity aimed at bolstering agencies who assist individuals who are experiencing homelessness. The total available funding is $400,000 to be split among eligible agencies. To maximize the integration of healthcare and housing as a social determinant of health, applicants must strive to sustain at least a portion of their services through Medicaid billing and partnership.
- Utah – CMS announced that Utah has requested three amendments for the Utah Medicaid Reform section 1115 demonstration. The first calls for support services for Medicaid-eligible individuals with a qualifying chronic condition, the second requests provision of dental services to Medicaid-eligible individuals, and the third asks for family planning services to qualifying individuals below 185% of the federal poverty level.
- Washington – The Washington Health Care Authority announced the submission of a proposed amendment to the state’s Medicaid Transformation Project section 1115 Medicaid waiver to extend Medicaid coverage for former foster care youth from other states who turned 18 years old prior to January 2023 and continuous enrollment for CHIP children through the age of six.
- Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services launched an initiative to train 10,000 people as certified direct care professionals (CDCPs) to combat the state’s shortage of caregivers. The self-paced curriculum includes direct care topics such as safety, ethics and communication. CDCPs provide personal care and supportive homecare to older adults and people with disabilities. This includes daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming and eating, and homecare duties such as general household tasks.
- Wyoming – The Wyoming Department of Health is seeking public input on an 1115 waiver application to prevent or delay Medicaid-paid nursing home stays by intercepting people who may later qualify for Medicaid only after spending down assets in an institutional setting. The waiver would expand a limited menu of Medicaid home- and community-based services to adults over 65 years old who meet certain criteria.