State News

Colorado | Jul 3, 2024 | News Story | Health Costs

Colorado Leaders Launch Website to Improve State’s Mental Health System

The Colorado Behavioral Health Administration launched an online portal aiming to increase
transparency and accountability and help the administration offer better care to Coloradans who
need it, reports The Colorado Sun. The Performance Hub includes data showing who is
accessing services—Southern and Eastern Coloradans accessed behavioral health care
services more often than people in other regions of the state—and additional information about
providers licensed by the agency. State leaders say additional data will be added over time to
help identify gaps in care, make systemic improvements and address health care inequities.

Oregon | Jul 1, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Oregon Establishes Basic Health Program

The Oregon Health Authority announced on Monday the launch of its OHP Bridge Plan to those
who earn more than the income limits for Medicaid, reports the Oregon Capital Chronicle. The
OHP Bridge extends benefits for those earning between 138 – 200 percent of the federal
poverty level and is expected to cover 100,000 Oregonians by 2027. Oregon is the third state to
offer a Basic Health Program, after Minnesota and New York, but is the first to offer coverage
with no cost-sharing requirements. The Bridge Plan will provide most Medicaid benefits except
for long-term care and certain social services.

Kansas | Jun 27, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Twenty Percent of Hispanic/Latino Kansans Lack Health Insurance

Twenty percent of Hispanic/Latino people in Kansas were uninsured in 2022, well above 12.7
percent of Black people and 6.2 percent of White people in Kansas, reports the Kansas
. A report from the Kansas Health Institute found that. although 52 percent of all
uninsured Kansans are white, three in ten Hispanic/Latino Kansans were uninsured. Many
factors, including language, income, legal, and cultural issues converge to perpetuate coverage

Kansas | Jun 27, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Kansas Medicaid Expanding Coverage of Doula Services

Kansas' Medicaid program will begin covering doula services for women and newborns on July
1, 2024, reports the Kansas Reflector. This move aims to improve maternal and infant health
outcomes by providing support during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum periods. The addition
of doula services aligns with broader efforts to enhance health care support for pregnant people,
including expanding postpartum coverage to twelve months.

Rhode Island | Jun 27, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Rhode Island Passes Law to Keep Medical Debt off Credit Reports

Rhode Island passed legislation prohibiting the reporting of medical debt to credit bureaus and
introduces consumer protection measures against deceptive debt collection practices, reports
Newport Buzz. Effective January 1, 2025, the legislation seeks to alleviate the burden of
medical expenses, which often lead to long-term financial hardships such as bankruptcy and
credit score deterioration. This initiative is part of Rhode Island's broader HEALTH initiative,
focusing on enhancing health care accessibility and affordability statewide.

California | Jun 25, 2024 | News Story | Health Costs

Los Angeles County Approves Medical Debt Relief for Residents

Los Angeles County has passed a plan to use $5 million to purchase and forgive residents’
medical debt, according to KFF Health News. The county estimates the investment will help
150,000 residents and eliminate $500 million in debt. The measure is part of a pilot program
with the national organization Undue Medical Debt.

Washington | Jun 20, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Washington Expands Medicaid-Like Coverage Regardless of Citizenship Status

Washington has started enrollment for a Medicaid-like program available to undocumented
adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, reports The Seattle Times.
With coverage starting July 1, 2024, the Apple Health Expansion will cover, with some
limitations, primary and specialty care, emergency visits, dental visits, pediatric care, and
pregnancy and labor services with no out-of-pocket costs or copays. The state Health Care
plans to cap new enrollments at 13,000 people.

Delaware | Jun 19, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Delaware Establishes Hospital Cost Review Board

Delaware has passed legislation to establish a hospital cost review board, reports the Delaware
Business Times
. The Diamond State Hospital Cost Review Board will oversee hospital budgets,
aiming to control rising health care costs. This initiative is expected to increase transparency
and affordability in health care services, particularly for low-income residents. The board will
consist of members with expertise in health care economics and policy, ensuring informed
decision-making to benefit the state's health care system.

Minnesota | Jun 17, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Minnesota Passes Medical Debt Fairness Act

Beginning October 2024, Minnesota will prohibit reporting medical debt to credit bureaus and
transferring medical debt to spouses, reports CBS News Minnesota. Additionally, providers may
not withhold care due to outstanding medical debt and wage garnishment will be limited based
on income.

Oklahoma | Jun 11, 2024 | Report | Surprise Medical Bills

Oklahoma Establishes Out-of-Network Ambulance Service Provider Act

Oklahoma has enacted a new law to protect patients from surprise ambulance bills, reports
News 9. The law, effective November 1, 2024, aims to shield patients from unexpected charges
during emergency ambulance rides. It also provides financial support for rural EMS services,
helping them acquire equipment and offer competitive wages. This legislation is expected to
improve the financial stability of EMS providers and ensure better patient protection without
increasing insurance premiums.