Public Health Emergency
The latest US Department of Health and Human Services extension for the PHE is effective through July 15th.
CMS published a letter on March 3rd extending the timeframe to wind down Medicaid renewals from 12 months to 14 months, but they did not extend the 60-day notice.
CMS also created a website dedicated to unwinding and returning back to regular operations.
Healthcare.gov Special Enrollment Period
CMS is extending the enrollment period through the rest of the year for those from 100% to 150% of the federal poverty level.
This is required for states who are a Federally Facilitated Marketplace through Healthcare.gov which includes: AL, AK, AZ, FL, GA, HI, IN, KS, LA, MI, MO, MA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI, WY, DE, IL, IA, NE, ND, OH and SD.
The extension is optional for states who are a State Based Marketplace which includes: AR, CA, CO, CT, ID, KY, NV, NM, OR, WA, DC, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NJ, NY, PA, RI or VT.
This does not include those eligible for Medicaid, Medicare Part A or most employer-sponsored health insurance plans.
Medicaid State of the Union
Governor Mike Dunleavy prepared an executive order that will separate the current health department into two divisions. The Department of Health division will manage public health, behavioral health, healthcare services and senior and disability services. The Department of Family and Community service will include juvenile justice, children services and several other sub-departments.
This change will become law and take effect July 1st.
Beginning May 1st, the state will provide full Medi-Cal benefits to all applicants over 50 who would normally only receive restricted benefits due to their immigration status.
The state is working on how it will resume back to normal Medicaid operations. To help with the estimated more than 500K recipients who may need to be renewed, the state is leveraging telephonic signatures, making several upgrades to their PEAK renewal module, implementing an intelligent character redesign and enhancing the Health First Colorado App.
The state also passed HB1198 which creates a new state-run Hospital Discount Care Program. The law requires hospitals to screen all uninsured patients, including new rules on how payment plans are administered and when a person is sent to collections. The law will take effect on June 1st, but the state is allowing providers one year to deliver mandatory reporting.
On April 4th the Kansas Medical Assistance Program moved to a new processing and payment system called Kansas Modular Medicaid System.
Although CMS opposes work requirements to be eligible for Medicaid, the state has developed a bill that would put Medicaid work requirements on the ballot for voters to decide in the November election. If approved, it would still need final approval by CMS via the 1115 waiver.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is adding an additional Managed Care Organization to serve Healthy Connections Medicaid members.
Additionally, the state recently passed the fiscal year budget which includes funds to extend postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months.
The state extended Medicaid postpartum coverage from two to six months. The law also requires the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to ensure Medicaid Managed Care plans provide continuity of care for individuals in the Healthy Texas Women program to improve maternal health outcomes.
Additionally, the state announced Jordan Dixon as the new Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer. She will oversee five division of HHSC, which will assist in continuous improvement efforts throughout the state.
The state is in the process of merging two departments by July 1st. The Utah Department of Health and the Utah Department of Human Services will realign in a few short months to become the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.