Medicaid Policy Cheat Sheet Series

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid is having to adapt at a rapid pace. CHCS’ Policy Cheat Sheet series provides a clear, digestible, and informal way to clarify Medicaid policy, including those impacted to COVID-19.

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Every sector of society is working rapidly to identify solutions that address new challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. CHCS is working to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations — including individuals with low-incomes, older adults, and those with complex medical, behavioral health, and social needs — by supporting our partners at the state, health plan, provider, and community levels.


April 19, 2021
As COVID-19 vaccination rates improve and new infections wane, it is important to remember that the social, emotional, and economic impacts on children and families will not suddenly vanish. Many households are behind on rent payments, even with new legislation through the American Rescue Plan; unemployment remains high; and improved coronavirus statistics do not instantly... Read more »
January 27, 2021
Dually eligible individuals frequently have significant social risk factors, which if addressed, could improve their access to care, health outcomes, and quality of life. How have plans addressed these health-related social needs during the pandemic?
January 7, 2021
As states enforced shelter-in-place orders, many people receiving treatment for opioid use disorder or other substance use disorders experienced a disruption in care adding to the general stress and anxiety linked to COVID-19.
December 17, 2020
Illuminates the challenges dually eligible individuals with SMI face during the pandemic as well as the benefits of integrated Medicare-Medicaid care services in addressing these challenges.
December 10, 2020
A large percentage of nursing facility residents are individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid — people who are significantly more likely to contract COVID-19 and be hospitalized due to severe symptoms. This confluence of factors makes dually eligible individuals residing in nursing facilities among the most vulnerable populations in the U.S. during the pandemic.
November 18, 2020
Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) also have co-occurring physical or behavioral health conditions, which put them at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 and experiencing complications if they become infected. This is especially problematic when individuals in this population are also dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid and rely on a fragmented network... Read more »
November 18, 2020
How can states address the challenges of the opioid epidemic on top of the COVID-19 pandemic? Particularly in a state like New Jersey, where COVID-19 cases and deaths ranked second in the nation in early April, maintaining a focus on addressing the opioid crisis takes robust partnerships.
November 9, 2020
After the initial public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state leaders in Rhode Island began monitoring key children’s health indicators to look for signs of secondary impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. One area of growing concern was a decline in childhood immunizations.
November 2, 2020
COVID-19 has exploited the existing gaps in care, system fragmentation, and lack of coordination between Medicare and Medicaid. Across every demographic category examined in new federal data, dually eligible individuals are more likely to contract or be hospitalized for COVID-19 than Medicare-only beneficiaries.
November 2, 2020
Most older adults want to remain in their homes as they age — a sentiment that has strengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic. But to do this, many will eventually require Medicaid-funded home- and community-based services to meet functional needs such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation.
September 28, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous strain on public sector health leaders who are responsible for responding to a public health crisis while simultaneously remaining focused on long-term, systemic health reforms.
September 23, 2020
In times of budget crisis, increasing alignment between Medicaid and early childhood programs can help maximize program and service impact with limited resources. Yet, opportunities to align these programs may be taking a back seat in the current environment.
September 1, 2020
Given the wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic on the health care system, states and MCOs need to reassess the design of existing VBP models and consider altering the focus of VBP approaches for 2020, 2021, and possibly beyond.
August 20, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, health care organizations around the country are mobilizing to identify “rising risk” populations — that is, individuals who are not yet “high-need, high-cost” but are on the trajectory to become so if they contract the virus.
August 6, 2020
Much of this risk identification work relied on utilization, claims, and diagnostic data, but the pandemic and the existing health inequities it has highlighted — especially in communities of color — are leading some innovative health care players to expand their perspective on what types of data should be used to understand risk.
July 23, 2020
Shelter-in-place orders, closed childcare centers, and parental employment losses have created a critical crisis for many families with young children. In some states, agencies serving young children and their families are partnering in new ways to address this heightened need.
July 7, 2020
COVID-19 and the stressors it is placing on individuals’ physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing create a new imperative for health care systems to look to trauma-informed care to support both patients and frontline workers.
June 25, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for home visiting is even more critical as families face new or expanding challenges, like domestic violence, substance use, or mental health needs — all issues that surge during crises.
June 17, 2020
To further understand how states are responding to the increase of Medicaid enrollees, CHCS partnered with the Institute for Medicaid Innovation to conduct a content analysis of strategies used by states to facilitate Medicaid enrollment for individuals who are newly eligible due to the pandemic.
June 10, 2020
Santa Clara County works with local and state partners to promote strategies for homelessness reduction and outcomes-driven housing and services models and is closely connected with the county’s COVID-19 response efforts.