In Last Week’s Update:
- Improved Tools to Support States During Open Enrollment
- New Medicaid and CHIP Data
- Updated Navigator Resources
- Community-Driven, Multi-Payer Health Equity Solutions
- Tracking Medicaid unwinding
- State updates: AZ, CA, CO, KS, MA, ME, MN, NE, NJ, NY, OR, VA & WI
Last week, as the 11th annual open enrollment period (OEP) began, the Biden administration launched an updated window-shopping tool for HealthCare.gov. To support states as they communicate about this year’s OEP to consumers, State Health & Value Strategies (SHVS) created sample messages and accompanying social media graphics available in English and Spanish.
New Medicaid and CHIP Data
Also last week, SHVS published an expert perspective which reviews newly available Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Marketplace data. The expert perspective summarizes key findings pertaining to Medicaid and CHIP enrollment, applications, and renewals, as well as Marketplace transitions. Updates follow.
Updated Navigator Resource Guide
The Georgetown Center on Health Insurance Reforms released an updated Navigator Resource Guide which includes a list of over 300 frequently asked questions (FAQs) on private insurance and Marketplace eligibility, fact sheets for all 50 states, an “Ask the Expert” feature, and resources for reaching diverse populations. Updates available for the 2024 open enrollment season include a “What’s New for 2024” page, additional FAQs translated into Spanish and FAQs about the Medicaid unwinding. Every FAQ and state fact sheet has been updated to reflect current federal and state policy.
Community-Driven, Multi-Payer Health Equity SolutionsCommunity-Driven, Multi-Payer Health Equity Solutions: An ECHO Collaborative seeks to advance community driven models of care that promote health equity. The HELC will include up to 20 multi-sector teams focused on addressing health equity in their local communities. An informational webinar about this opportunity is available here. Applications are due by November 20, 2023.The Partnership to Align Social Care announced that applications are open for communities and their healthcare provider and payer partners to participate in an 18-month long learning collaborative. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the health equity learning collaborative (HELC) project,
Tracking the Medicaid Unwinding
Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is hosting a conversation on what Medicaid agencies have learned to improve renewal processes and reduce program churn as the unwinding continues. The webinar will bring together Joyce Johnson, Medicaid Eligibility Policy Director of the North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services to discuss their efforts to improve ex parte renewals; Jennifer Wagner, Director of Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Heather Howard, on behalf of State Health and Value Strategies. The BDT webinar is on Tuesday, November 14 at 3:00 p.m. ET for a conversation on the national outlook of the Medicaid unwinding and next steps for states.
State updates: AZ, CA, CO, KS, MA, ME, MN, NE, NJ, NY, OR, VA & WI
- Arizona – Contingent upon federal approval from CMS, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System will pilot coverage of medically necessary Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing testing for Medicaid-enrolled children under one year of age who meet criteria. Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing testing is considered an emerging method of diagnosing genetic conditions.
- California – The California Department of Health Care Services is investing $144 million in 145 Enhanced Care Management (ECM) and Community Supports (CS) organizations and providers across the state. The funding will support the capacity and infrastructure of providers working to improve health outcomes for Medi-Cal members by providing community based organizations delivering ECM and CS with the means to invest in their workforce, infrastructure and IT systems.
- Colorado – Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace, announced that the maximum number of 11,000 individuals have submitted an application for 2024 coverage within the OmniSalud program and are eligible for financial savings. OmniSalud allows Coloradans without documentation (including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients) and who are ineligible for federal subsidies to get health insurance that meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
- Kansas – Governor Laura Kelly hosted a roundtable with behavioral health experts and first responders about how Medicaid expansion would improve mental and behavioral healthcare for Kansans.
- Massachusetts – Massachusetts submitted a request to amend its section 1115 demonstration, entitled “MassHealth Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) Section 1115 Demonstration,” to provide pre-release MassHealth services to individuals in certain public institutions; provide 12 months continuous eligibility for adults and 24 months continuous eligibility for members experiencing homelessness who are 65 and over; remove waiver authority of retroactive eligibility; expand Marketplace subsidies; and expand health-related social needs services to include short-term post hospitalization housing and temporary housing for pregnant members and families. The federal public comment period will be open through November 29, 2023.
- Maine – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is encouraging anyone affected by the violence in Lewistown to reach out and connect with behavioral health support. DHHS has created a dedicated webpage with resources including online support and resources for children and families, as well as an online form for communities and organizations to request behavioral health support, such as on-site mental health clinics, or assistance tailored for specific communities.
- Minnesota – The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced changes to the state’s applications for health coverage and for help paying costs as a result of input and suggestions from county, tribal, DHS and MNsure workers and Navigators. The application has been revised to increase accessibility.
- Nebraska – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has launched the iServe Nebraska Portal’s new integrated benefit application that will make it easier for Nebraskans to apply for Medicaid and economic assistance benefit programs.
- New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy and Department of Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Justin Zimmerman announced $5 million in Navigator grants for 26 community organizations to assist in enrolling uninsured and underinsured New Jersey residents in health coverage.
- New York – Governor Kathy Hochul announced the establishment of a New York State Commission on the Future of Health Care. The 13-member advisory body will work to build evidence-based and strategic recommendations for the state’s healthcare system.
- Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority released an interactive dashboard that will provide ongoing updates on efforts to expand the statewide inventory of behavioral health residential treatment beds, housing units, rental assistance and other housing assistance. Oregon aims to increase capacity of housing assistance for people recovering from mental illness or substance-use.
- Virginia –The State Corporation Commission announced Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace is now available for Virginia residents to enroll in health insurance for 2024. The State-Based Marketplace replaces HealthCare.gov as Virginia’s official health benefit exchange.
- Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services launched Wisconsin Wayfinder: Children’s Resource Network, a new service that will transform the support structure for children and families of children with developmental delays, disabilities, special healthcare needs, or mental health conditions. Wisconsin Wayfinder: Children’s Resource Network includes a user-friendly website and toll-free helpline that lets families connect with resource guides who will help navigate through essential services and supports.