May 16 Update

In This Week’s Update:

  • New SHVS Unwinding Communications Resource
  • Assist Leadership Programs
  • Assisting states with Medicaid Redeterminations
  • Medicaid Continuous Coverage: Fiscal and Enrollment Implications
  • Leveraging Medicaid to Reduce Youth Homelessness
  • State updates: AL, CT, FL, LA, MD, MI, MT, NC, OR, WA & WI

New SHVS Unwinding Communications Resource

This week, State Health and Value Strategies launched a new webpage that provides turnkey communications resources designed to support states as they inform stakeholders and consumers about the upcoming end of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. The new webpage includes a Message Guide that provides a framework for states to build communications tactics with key messages translated into ten languages, template communications resources to encourage enrollees to update their contact information, and renewal and coverage transition materials. The resources are available to download and customize and include graphics and social posts.

Assisting states with Medicaid Redeterminations

Also this week, HHS Secretary Becerra and CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure sent a letter to governors discussing the flexibilities made available to states to support the unwinding of the continuous coverage requirement. The letter also includes a list of resources that HHS has issued to assist states with redeterminations, and reminds states that they should be putting in place processes to ensure coverage for Medicaid enrollees when the PHE ends. 

Milbank’s State Leadership Programs

The Milbank Memorial Fund announced the launch of recruitment for the 2022-2023 cohorts of their two leadership programs for legislative and executive branch state and large-county government officials who are committed to improving population health: 1) the Milbank Fellows Program (MFP), an opportunity for senior leaders, and 2) the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), an opportunity for rising leaders. These programs, all costs for which are covered by Milbank, provide a unique opportunity for participants to engage with colleagues from across the country, as well as with Milbank’s broader state leadership network, to enhance their leadership skills, learn from experts about pressing health policy topics, and improve their capacity to advance population health reforms in their communities.

Fiscal and Enrollment Implications of the Medicaid Continuous Coverage Requirement

A recently published Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief projects Medicaid enrollment growth through the end of fiscal year 2022. The brief examines how much of the enrollment growth can be attributed to baseline, or expected enrollment increases without the pandemic, and how much can be attributed to the continuous coverage requirement during the PHE. The brief explores the costs tied to PHE-related enrollment growth, estimates how much fiscal relief was provided to states through the enhanced federal Medicaid match rate (FMAP), and describes scenarios for enrollment going forward. The issue brief estimates that the fiscal relief from the enhanced FMAP will exceed the costs of the additional enrollment in every state, though the degree to which that is the case varies by state.

Leveraging Medicaid to Reduce Youth Homelessness

Youth with behavioral health needs, particularly those receiving residential and inpatient treatment, are at significantly greater risk of homelessness. LGBTQIA+ youth and youth involved in the foster care system in particular face a disproportionate risk of experiencing homelessness after a hospital or residential stay. With calls for change from President Biden and the surgeon general, and the declaration of a youth mental health national emergency, states and lawmakers have an immediate opportunity to build on national momentum to improve behavioral healthcare for children and youth with significant needs, including those who are at risk of homelessness or already homeless. In a new strategic analysis developed for the Raikes Foundation, Manatt Health presents strategies for states and other stakeholders to use Medicaid to address youth and young adult homelessness following an institutional or residential stay for psychiatric and/or substance use care.

State Updates

  • Alabama – The Alabama Medicaid Agency released for public review and comments a draft of its Home and Community-Based Services waiver renewal application.
  • Connecticut – Governor Ned Lamont signed into law the fiscal year 2023 budget adjustment bill, which expands HUSKY Health (Connecticut’s Medicaid and CHIP program) eligibility to children age 12 and under with a household income up to 323 percent of the federal poverty level, regardless of immigration status.
  • Florida
    • The Agency for Health Care Administration released a request for information seeking best practices and innovations in business models for potential use in improving the state’s Medicaid managed care and Medicaid managed long-term care programs.
    • Governor DeSantis signed into law HB 855 which establishes reporting requirements for managed care plans to begin stratifying data by age, sex, race and ethnicity. The new data reporting requirements will take effect in 2025.
  • Louisiana
    • The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH)’s Office of Behavioral Health is expanding services to Louisiana Medicaid members experiencing a mental health crisis with the phased implementation of a comprehensive crisis system of care. Mobile Crisis Response, Community Brief Crisis Support and Behavioral Health Crisis Care are the first three of four Medicaid services affiliated with the Louisiana Crisis Response System. The fourth service, Crisis Stabilization, will be phased in at a later date pending legislative funding.
    • LDH announced it is mailing pink letters to members confirming their mailing address. If members do not receive a letter by May 31, LDH is asking that they update their contact information by calling their health plan, logging on to, or contacting LDH by email or phone.
  • Maryland – Governor Larry Hogan signed into law a bill requiring the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide dental services, including diagnostic, preventive, restorative, and periodontal services, for adults whose annual household income is at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, beginning January 1, 2023.
  • Michigan – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has expanded the Behavioral Health Home initiative to more Michigan counties to provide intensive care management and coordination services for Medicaid enrollees with a serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.
  • Montana – In anticipation of the end of the PHE, the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced they will soon launch an extensive outreach campaign to Montana Medicaid and Healthy Montana Kids (CHIP) families about upcoming changes that could impact their healthcare coverage. DPHHS will also be launching a new website page in the coming weeks, where Montanans can provide their current contact information.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) published a review of the public health workforce and infrastructure across North Carolina. The paper provides an overview of select programs and opportunities within the NCDHHS Division of Public Health that aim to strengthen the public health infrastructure and support workforce development while reducing disparities and advancing equity.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education released a Fentanyl & Opioid Response Toolkit for Schools to support educators, administrators, school nurses, students and families. The toolkit provides information about how schools can create an emergency protocol to administer naloxone, also known as Narcan. In addition, the toolkit has resources to support staff training, prevention education and other resources essential to developing and implementing school emergency response procedures.
  • Washington – The state of Washington submitted a Section 1332 waiver application to allow all Washington residents, regardless of immigration status, the ability to shop on the state’s marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder. The waiver will also allow all Washington residents access to a state-funded affordability program based on income level.
  • Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced the Moving Forward Together Grant Program, a new funding opportunity to support continued efforts to promote health equity in COVID-19 vaccination in Wisconsin. Eligible organizations can apply for awards of up to $400,000 to advance efforts to address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. Eligible organizations include licensed residential and community-based care facilities, educational institutions, churches or religious groups, local or tribal community-based organizations, and non-traditional providers or locations that serve high-risk populations.