January 6 Update

In This Week’s Update:

  • ID and UT Expand Medicaid
  • State Updates: AK, CA, DE, MD, MN, NM, NV, & PA
  • Building Partnerships with Families
  • Convening a Consumer Advisory Board
  • Guide to Becoming an Equity-focused Health Department


ID and UT Expand Medicaid

Beginning January 1, Idaho and Utah officially expanded Medicaid to its residents with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Idaho has already enrolled over 53,000 individuals and it is estimated that up to 120,000 Utah adults will be eligible for the expansion program.


State Updates: AK, CA, DE, MD, MN, NM, NV, & PA

  • Alaska – The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services released a new resource to assist health care providers in offering office-based, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for opioid use disorder. The guide focuses on helping providers understand how to develop MAT programs that offer buprenorphine and naltrexone treatment in conjunction with psychosocial treatment and support.
  • California – Covered California, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, reminded Californians that a new law requiring all residents to have health insurance went into effect January 1, 2020. California created a new state individual mandate penalty similar to the Affordable Care Act’s penalty which will be collected when residents file their 2020 taxes in 2021. In addition to the penalty, California is making new financial help available to eligible consumers to help further lower the cost of their coverage. 
  • Delaware – Enrollment on Delaware’s health insurance marketplace increased more than 6 percent during the open enrollment period for plan year 2020. Under Delaware’s new reinsurance program, the sole insurer on Delaware’s marketplace reduced premiums for 2020 on average by 19 percent.
  • Maryland – A total of 158,600 Marylanders enrolled in private health coverage for 2020 on Maryland Health Connection, the state’s official health insurance marketplace. This year marked the largest enrollment in four years on the state-based health insurance marketplace and an increase of 1,637 enrollees compared to a year ago, when 156,963 consumers enrolled.
  • Minnesota – MNsure, the state’s official health insurance exchange, announced that 117,520 Minnesotans signed up for private health coverage during MNsure’s seventh open enrollment period, which ended on December 23, 2019—2,525 more sign-ups than the exchange received by December 23 of the previous year. 
  • New Mexico – New Mexico Human Services Department funded the Urban Institute to produce a report on the uninsured in New Mexico. The report found that 187,000 New Mexicans (10.5%) under age 65 are uninsured.
  • Nevada – The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, Nevada’s official health insurance marketplace, enrolled 77,410 Nevadans during open enrollment for plan year 2020. The state transitioned during this open enrollment period from Healthcare.gov to a fully operational state based exchange (SBE). As part of the transition to an SBE, Nevada Health Link migrated a total of 65,563 Nevada consumers from HealthCare.gov to the SBE platform.
  • Pennsylvania – The Department of Human Services issued a report to the legislature that analyzes the potential effect of shifting the Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP), the state’s program to provide non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid-eligible consumers, to a model whereby the program would be administered by regional brokers. The MATP currently operates differently across the 67 counties.


Building Partnerships with Families: Stories from the Field

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health hosted a webinar that shared stories from the field on how to build transformative partnerships with families and clinicians. Family-professional partnerships help ensure health care programs and policies are appropriate and well-utilized. While including parents as equal members of their child’s care team is an accepted standard for pediatric care, the core principles of family engagement have not been widely adopted as drivers of health care systems improvement. The webinar profiles two statewide projects—a parent leadership training program and a hospital learning collaborative—that are integrating families as equal partners in addressing systems issues.


Convening a Consumer Advisory Board: Key Considerations

As part of the Community Partnership Pilot project, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and coordinated through the Complex Care Innovation Lab, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) released an infographic and corresponding blog post highlighting key considerations for health care systems on how to successfully convene and maintain a consumer advisory board. CHCS staff interviewed health care organizations from across the country on best practices to engage consumers in providing input on how health care systems can better understand priority health issues and improve care delivery.


Moving into Equity for Public Health

The Public Health National Center for Innovations, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, released a guide for health departments to become equity-focused organizations, both in awareness and in practice. Created with practitioners, this guide offers practical ideas and strategies from the field and includes existing tools and resources to support change that will affect the social and structural influencers of health. The guide also offers strategies to address common internal and external challenges, and a brief discussion on developing and using principles of health equity.