July 20 Update

In This Week’s Update:

  • New SHVS COVID-19 Resources
  • CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Deadline
  • COVID-19 State Updates: CA, CO, DE, IA, ME, NE, NJ, NY, RI & WI
  • Other State Updates: MA, MN & OR
  • Webinar on Open Enrollment Period 2021
  • COVID-19 and the Effect on Health Insurance
  • Supporting Individuals with Complex Care Needs in COVID-19


New SHVS COVID-19 Resources

State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) is continuing to add and update the resources on its COVID-19 page. Recently, Marissa Korn wrote an expert perspective on how states are working to protect farmworkers in the midst of the pandemic. This expert perspective provides a survey of state and local policies and outlines key themes and recommendations for policymakers as they work to support agricultural workers and stem the spread of COVID-19. SHVS has also updated an expert perspective authored by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center to reflect the latest activity in state health equity data collection and reporting. This expert perspective includes updated interactive maps that explore the current status of all 50 states and the District of Columbia’s reporting of COVID-19 case and death data and provides an update on the status of states’ reporting of hospitalization and testing data by demographic categories.


CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Deadline

As a reminder, provider applications for the Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Distribution of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund are due on Monday, July 20. As of Friday, July 10, less than two percent of the Medicaid/CHIP providers that the Health Resources and Services Administration anticipates are eligible for Provider Relief Fund payments have submitted applications through the Department of Health and Human Services Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal. Given the low rate of applications, states might consider reaching out to potentially eligible providers to remind them of Monday’s deadline.


COVID-19 State Updates: CA, CO, DE, IA, ME, NE, NJ, NY, RI & WI

  • California  
    • Governor Gavin Newsom announced the availability of $600 million in funding for Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s response protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19. The $600 million in grant funding will be made available to counties, cities, and other government entities to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, and vacant apartment buildings, and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness.
    • Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, approved a $440 million budget for fiscal year 2020-21 that includes a $30 million increase in marketing investments and $13 million for additional customer service upgrades to meet the needs of consumers.
  • Colorado – Governor Jared Polis signed legislation into law that will give workers up to six paid sick leave days every year. The law also requires employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave to people infected with COVID-19 or who need to care for an infected relative.
  • Delaware – The Division of Public Health announced a partnership with Walgreens to provide COVID-19 testing to residents, piloting the initiative at one location in each county starting Thursday, July 16.
  • Iowa – Governor Kim Reynolds announced that $50 million in CARES Act funding will be invested in Iowa’s mental health care system. This investment includes directing funding to Medicaid providers of nonhospital-based residential and outpatient services.
  • Maine – MaineCare created a website to inform MaineCare members about the availability of telehealth and how they can access their health care services remotely.
  • Nebraska – The state announced that dentists who may not have previously been eligible to receive funding through the Provider Relief Fund may now apply using the federal platform. Eligible dentists will receive a reimbursement of two percent of their annual reported patient revenue and will have until July 24, 2020 to apply for funding.
  • New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy announced $20 million in CARES Act funding to support local food banks during the pandemic. The governor also highlighted nearly $390 million in additional federal funding for food assistance to New Jersey families and children. Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson also wrote an op-ed summarizing how the state is providing food assistance to New Jersey families.
  • New York – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the special enrollment period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended for another 30 days, through August 15, 2020, as the state continues to provide supportive services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York’s state-based marketplace, or directly through insurers.
  • Rhode Island – Governor Gina Raimondo announced a $25 million plan to expand home-based care options in the state to address the spread of COVID-19 in congregate living facilities. The plan includes investments in nursing facility supports to implement infection control, investments in capital and program changes to reorient the delivery of care in nursing facilities, and targeted investments to expand home-base care options through home-based workforce incentives, training, and supports.
  • Wisconsin – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a $100 million housing assistance program, authorized by the CARES Act, to help prevent evictions and homelessness and maintain housing stability for individuals and families affected by COVID-19. In conjunction with the governor’s announcement, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency launched a COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program Request for Proposals to select local organizations to administer the housing assistance program.


Other State Updates: MA, MN & OR

  • Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Health Connector is reminding residents that applying for or maintaining Health Connector coverage is not counted as a public charge under the federal immigration rule.
  • Minnesota — Minnesota submitted a five year Section 1115 demonstration extension request seeking authority to provide Medicaid coverage to children ages 12 months through 23 months with household incomes between 275 and 283 percent of the federal poverty line and pregnant women during the presumptive eligibility period. The federal public comment period is open through August 14, 2020.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Health Leadership Council released Better Health for Oregonians: Opportunities to Reduce Low-Value Care, a new report that seeks to lower the cost of health care by partnering with the medical community to identify low-value services. The report examines 47 measures and includes actionable opportunities to address the rise in health care costs and improve the effectiveness of care that is delivered to patients in Oregon.


Webinar: Preparing for OEP 2021: Designing Your Open Enrollment Campaign

Wednesday, July 22, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

As a follow-up to part one of its two-part webinar series focused on preparing for open enrollment period (OEP) 2021, SHVS is hosting a webinar that will 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 will explore how the effects 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 will also hear insights from several state officials from state-based marketplaces along the way. Topics for discussion will include 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 will include a question and answer session during which webinar participants can pose their questions to the experts on the line. A slide deck and recording of part one is on the SHVS website.

Registration (required) at the following link:  https://rwjfevents.webex.com/rwjfevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e94355eedb4cee1083b8877753614a6ef


The COVID-19 Pandemic and Resulting Economic Crash’s Effect on Health Insurance  

A new report by Families USA found that because of job losses between February and May of this year, 5.4 million laid-off workers became uninsured. These recent increases in the number of uninsured adults are 39 percent higher than any annual increase ever recorded. This report highlights the magnitude of coverage losses and explains the effect of comprehensive health coverage on families and communities. The report also explains how legislation recently passed by the House would protect families’ health insurance and explores how the Senate could strengthen the House legislation as part of the next COVID-19 bill.


How Community Health Workers and Promotores Can Support Individuals with Complex Needs amid COVID-19

As COVID-19 disproportionately affects high-risk populations and communities of color, community health workers and promotores (CHW/Ps) can play a valuable role in providing critical supports for people with complex health and social needs and addressing health disparities. The Better Play Care Playbook, in partnership with the Center for Health Care Strategies and made possible through the Seven Foundation Collaborative, is hosting a webinar to explore opportunities for health systems and plans to work with CHW/Ps to support high-need individuals, with a focus on addressing the long-term effects of COVID-19. Featured speakers will describe the roles and value of CHW/Ps, share implementation and sustainable financing strategies, and discuss how CHW programs can be established and expanded to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on high-risk populations.