Public Health Emergency
The PHE is up for re-evaluation on July 16th. CMS advised the states they would receive a letter 60 days prior to the PHE expiring. That letter was expected mid-May and it was not received; therefore, it is expected to be renewed for another 90 days in July.
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.
Postpartum Medicaid Extended in Many States
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provided an option for states to extend postpartum coverage to 12 months either through a State Plan Amendment or a 1115 waiver.
Kaiser Family Foundation published a tracker that shows the progress of the approval and whether the state has chosen to extend the coverage.
Social Security Administration Re-entry Plan
The Social Security Administration has begun adding more in-person appointments and offer in-person service for people without appointments as well.
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: 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: AR, CA, CO, CT, ID, KY, NV, NM, OR, WA, DC, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NJ, NY, PA, RI or VT.
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.
On July 1st, the asset limits for non-MAGI Medi-Cal will be changing. These limits will increase from $2,000 to $130,000 for an individual and increases to $65,000 for each additional household member, for a maximum of 10 people.
The state passed HB 1198 which provides a new state-run Hospital Discount Care Program. The law requires hospitals to screen all uninsured patients, and it includes new rules on how payment plans are administered and when a person is sent to collections. Originally the law was set to take effect on June 1st, but HB 22-1403 was introduced, seeking a delay until September 1st.
The Biden administration is suspending Georgia’s plan to transition its individual market for Affordable Care Act plans from the federal exchange to a private-sector-run platform, unless the state corrects the waiver by July 28th. Read more details here.
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.
On June 6th, Kim Evans, the Director of the Family Services Division, told lawmakers that by the end of July, wait times for processing Medicaid applications would be down to 45 days. Read more here.
The state enacted legislation extending 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.
The state is developing resources to share with families when the PHE ends and Medicaid eligibility redeterminations resume, and it has begun some communication to stakeholders.
Lastly, 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 manage 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 to become the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.