Budget Blog

September 2, 2021 - Health Care Issues Update

By Stacey Mazer posted 09-02-2021 01:10 PM


CMS Releases Medicaid and CHIP Guidance Targeting Vaccination and Testing for COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance that provides information to states for advancing COVID-19 vaccination and testing and Medicaid’s broader aim of providing health coverage for eligible individuals. To help states build awareness and address vaccine hesitancy, CMS is making federal administrative matching funds available for states' approved expenditures on state-funded monetary incentives for beneficiaries to encourage vaccinations against COVID-19 and the flu. CMS is also reinforcing that Medicaid will cover diagnostic and screening testing for COVID-19 when that testing is consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. The guidance provides information on the American Rescue Plan Act’s temporary 100 percent federal match for state expenditures on COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine administration for those with Medicaid and CHIP. To address vaccine hesitancy CMS has compiled a list of flexibilities and funding opportunities to support state efforts to increase uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines among Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries since Medicaid enrollees are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at far lower rates than other Americans. Guidance and Resources include:  Testing and Medicaid Coverage of Habilitation Services State Health Official Letter, FMAP State Health Official Letter, and Medicaid and CHIP Vaccine Hesitancy PowerPoint.


Administration Expanding Navigators Ahead of Open Enrollment Period

The Administration is expanding the number of navigator organizations to help people enroll in coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 30 states with a federally-facilitated marketplace. Through $80 million in grant awards for the 2022 plan year, 60 navigator awardee organizations will be able to train and certify more than 1,500 navigators to help uninsured consumers find affordable and comprehensive health coverage.  


CMS Releases Medicaid and CHIP Beneficiary Profile

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2020 Medicaid and CHIP Beneficiary Profile and Infographic providing an overview of the characteristics, health status, access, utilization, expenditures, and experience of the beneficiaries served by Medicaid and CHIP. This profile also provides an in-depth look at individuals dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.


HHS Announces $10.7 Million for Pediatric Mental Health Access

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $10.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to expand pediatric mental health care access by integrating telehealth services into pediatric care. The Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program supports state and regional networks of pediatric mental health care teams; award recipients can be found here.


CMS Releases Guidance About Third-Party Liability in Medicaid

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an informational bulletin to assist states in ensuring that their Medicaid state plans comply with third-party liability requirements reflected in current law. States should update their Medicaid third-party liability state plan pages and submit amendments to CMS to reflect the recent changes in law.

CMS Announces Flexibilities for Louisiana and Mississippi Residents Impacted by Hurricane Ida  

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced flexibilities being provided to ensure health care access continues for residents in Louisiana and Mississippi impacted by Hurricane Ida. On August 30, 2021, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared Public Health Emergencies (PHEs) for Louisiana and Mississippi. With these PHEs in effect, CMS is also notifying Louisiana and Mississippi of the resources and waivers being made available to ensure hospitals and other facilities can continue to operate and provide access to care to those impacted by Hurricane Ida.