January 31 Update

In This Week’s Update:

  • Final Marketplace Enrollment for 2022 
  • Medicaid-financed Crisis Response Services 
  • A Blueprint for Racial Equity
  • OEP Numbers and New Funds for Outreach
  • State Updates: CO, GA, IN, ME, MD, MI, MN, MT, NJ, NV, OR & WY


Final Marketplace Enrollment for 2022

This week CMS announced the final enrollment numbers for Marketplace coverage: 14.5 million people signed up for health care in 2022 during the open enrollment period that ended on January 15, a new record. Of the 14.5 million, 5.8 million newly gained coverage. To further increase access to coverage, CMS announced that it is committing $49.4 to fund organizations that connect eligible children, parents and pregnant individuals to health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP. Awardees—including state and local governments—will receive up to $1.5 million each for a three-year period to reduce the number of uninsured children by advancing Medicaid/CHIP enrollment and retention.

Also this week, State Health and Value Strategies has released an updated version of its resource Medicaid Managed Care Contract Language: Health Disparities and Health Equity. This resource provides excerpts of health disparities and health equity language from Medicaid managed care contracts and requests for proposals (RFPs) from 17 states and the District of Columbia. A new expert perspective highlights the latest trends observed in the state contracts and RFPs to promote health equity included in the updated compendium.


Mobile Crisis Teams: A State Planning Guide for Medicaid-Financed Crisis Response Services

The Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) released a new planning guide, Mobile Crisis Teams: A State Planning Guide for Medicaid-Financed Crisis Response Services. This planning guide reviews requirements of the American Rescue Plan Act related to community-based mobile crisis intervention services, and identifies planning considerations for states in developing or refining mobile crisis services that qualify for the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage. While the primary focus is on mobile crisis, the guide also highlights state considerations that will support a more robust crisis continuum, including the 988 behavioral health crisis line. Along with the planning guide for states, TAC released an issue brief with federal policy recommendations to support state implementation of Medicaid-funded mobile crisis programs. As a reminder, SHVS recently published an expert perspective on the new CMS guidance on community-based mobile crisis services


A Path for the Federal Government to Advance Racial Equity

PolicyLink recently published a comprehensive racial equity blueprint for federal agencies, For Love of Country: A Path for the Federal Government to Advance Racial Equity. The blueprint provides resources, tools, and a plan for federal agency leaders to implement President Biden’s historic executive order on advancing racial equity. Geared toward staff working within federal agencies, the blueprint also includes tools that are applicable for equity advocates across the nation working inside and outside of government, including: the transformative potential equity presents for key socioeconomic outcomes; a starter tool for conducting and refining an initial equity assessment; and a tool for agencies to develop a strategic vision and action plan to advance equity, and guidance on how to launch this journey.  


Lessons Learned from Partnerships Between Networks of Community-Based Organizations and Healthcare Organizations

A new report by the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) highlights themes and lessons learned through the Advancing Resilience and Community Health (ARCH) initiative, which was designed to help networks of nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs) develop new contracts, payment models, and partnership approaches with healthcare payers to achieve better health outcomes across the United States. Through ARCH, NFF partnered with three networks–EngageWell IPA (New York), Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (Minnesota), and Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (Virginia)–to explore what it takes for CBO networks to come together around a shared vision for partnering with healthcare. 

  • Colorado – Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, reported that 198,412 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan by the end of the open enrollment period. This is an increase of more than 18,000 enrollments, or 10 percent, above last year’s open enrollment total.
  • Georgia – The state of Georgia filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia Brunswick Division against CMS, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and related parties within the Biden administration seeking the ability to continue the implementation of the Georgia Pathways to Coverage as originally planned. 
  • Indiana – The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced in a stakeholder meeting that it has delayed the release of a RFP for a Medicaid managed long-term services and supports program until May 2022. Awards for the program, which will serve adults age 60 or older, are now expected in the first quarter of 2023. The RFP was initially anticipated in the first quarter of 2022. The state has completed the RFI process and is currently engaging stakeholders on the design process. 
  • Maine –  The Mills administration announced today that 66,095 Maine residents selected plans for affordable health insurance for 2022 at CoverME.gov, Maine’s new health insurance marketplace, an increase of more than 10 percent over the previous year.
  • Maryland 
    • Governor Larry Hogan announced an extension of the open enrollment period on Maryland Health Connection, the state’s health insurance marketplace, in light of the ongoing public health emergency. Open enrollment will now end February 28, 2022. Anyone who enrolls by January 31 will have coverage beginning February 1. Those who enroll during February will be covered starting March 1.
    • For the third year, the Office of the Comptroller of Maryland and Maryland Health Connection (MHC) will allow uninsured Marylanders to enroll in health insurance through their joint easy enrollment program by July 15. The date coincides with the extended state income tax filing and payment deadline. The program allows Marylanders to check a box on their state tax return to share information with MHC. The tax filer will then receive a letter unlocking a 35-day enrollment window, starting from the date on the letter. 
  • Michigan – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued an epidemic order to protect residents in nursing homes across the state by ensuring residents have the opportunity to obtain COVID-19 vaccines at the nursing home where they reside. Under the order, nursing homes must offer on-site doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents who are not up to date as of January 20, 2022, within 30 days of the effective date of the order.
  • Minnesota – MNsure, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, produced a new video called the “Alec Smith Story” as part of its efforts to create public awareness about the Insulin Safety Net Program and to encourage eligible Minnesotans to register. Information on eligibility requirements and the application process, commonly asked questions and finding a MNsure-certified navigator is available at MNinsulin.org.
  • Montana – Governor Greg Gianforte and the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) ordered 650,000 at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for Montanans. The tests are being provided at no cost to support early COVID-19 detection in an effort to reduce transmission of the virus. DPHHS shipped the at-home tests this week to county and Tribal public health departments for distribution beginning as early as Sunday, January 30, 2022.
  • Nevada – Nevada Health Link, the state’s health insurance marketplace, announced that 101,409 Nevadans enrolled in health insurance during the open enrollment period which ended January 15. With a 25 percent increase in enrollment from last year’s enrollment period, this marks the largest enrollment cohort since the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange began operating as a state-based marketplace in 2019.
  • New Jersey – Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride announced that more than 300,000 New Jersey residents have signed up for health insurance at Get Covered New Jersey so far during the open enrollment period—an increase of 21 percent compared to last year. The number of residents signed up for coverage is a record high for New Jersey.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services highlighted a recent Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids report that ranked Oregon number one in the nation in funding tobacco prevention at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Wyoming – The Department of Health announced the retirement of the state’s longtime Medicaid Director, Teri Green. At the time of her retirement, Green was the longest-serving Medicaid Director in the country. Jan Stall, who most recently served as the provider and benefit management administrator with the Division of Healthcare Financing, has been named interim Medicaid Director.