State News

Louisiana | Nov 27, 2023 | Report | Health Costs

LDH Outcomes Report Shows Important Progress Toward 2023 Goals

The Louisiana Department of Health completed 41 out of 45 goals and 234 out of 253
deliverables, according to the Louisiana Department of Health’s annual Outcomes Report. The
goals were selected from a range of policy priorities and include: addressing chronic disease;
improving maternal health; expanding Medicaid policies that address environmental health risks;
expanding the behavioral health system’s capacity; and improving services for citizens with
developmental disabilities.

Colorado | Nov 26, 2023 | Report | Health Costs

Demand for Health Insurance for Undocumented Coloradans is Greater than Expected

OmniSalud, Colorado’s health insurance plan for low-income undocumented and DACA
recipient residents, filled all 11,000 spots for coverage with additional financial assistance in two
days when enrollment began at the beginning of November, reports 9News. Eligible residents
can still enroll in OmniSalud, but will have to pay monthly premium costs. Advocates say this
indicates that many undocumented residents are struggling to access health care and
underscores the necessity of the program.

Illinois | Nov 13, 2023 | Report | Price Transparency

Illinois Requires State Notification of Consolidation Transactions

Starting in 2024, Illinois healthcare providers engaging in mergers and acquisitions are required
to report the transaction to the state, according to the National Law Review. Under Public Act
103-0526, providers must notify the state Attorney General 30 days prior to any merger,
acquisition, or contracting affiliation with certain covered entities. The statute builds on previous
legislation authorizing the Attorney General to bring action on behalf of a private party if a
transaction provides unfair advantages to a large business entity to the detriment of consumers
and now covers contracts with out of state entities generating at least $10 million or more in
revenue from Illinois residents.

Utah | Nov 9, 2023 | Report | Affordability

Health Care is Unaffordable for Many Utahns

A 2023 survey found nearly seventy percent of Utahns experienced at least one health are
affordability burden in the previous year, up from 27 percent in 2020, reports The Salt Lake
. Utahns’ opinions of health care costs are similarly pessimistic — 86% worry about
affording health care in the future. Utah is working towards some of the recommended policies
in the survey, including working on setting a cost growth target by consensus through the One
Utah Health Collaborative.

Washington | Nov 9, 2023 | Report | Affordability

Washington State Marketplace Opened to Residents Regardless of Immigration Status

Washington State is the first state in the country to open its Affordable Care Act Marketplace to
undocumented residents following approval and implementation of a 1332 Medicaid waiver,
reports KUOW. Federal rules have excluded undocumented immigrants from purchasing
coverage on the Marketplace and while other states have created alternative avenues for
undocumented adults to purchase coverage, Washington State’s Marketplace will now make
plans and subsidies available to this population. Still, premiums are often too expensive for
many, even with subsidies, presenting ongoing affordability challenges.

California | Nov 7, 2023 | Report | Health Costs

New California Law Caps Ambulance Bills

Ground ambulance operators will not be able to balance bill residents beginning in 2024, reports
KFF Health News. Nearly three-quarters of emergency ground ambulance rides result in a
balance bill—a 2022 report found the average cost of a ground ambulance ride in California was
$1,209. The new law is estimated to impact over 14 million California residents and will limit the
amount an out-of-network ground ambulance operator can charge patients to the amount they
would pay for the same in-network ambulatory service.

Minnesota | Nov 2, 2023 | Report | Health Costs

Minnesota Passes Law Which Aims to Decrease the Number of Medical Bills Sent to Collections

By Carolina Cummings | CBS News Minnesota | Nov. 2, 2023
All Minnesota hospitals must now screen patients to determine if they are eligible for financial
assistance before referring medical debt for collections, reports CBS News Minnesota. The new
law took effect on November 1, 2023, and prohibits hospitals from sending any outstanding debt
to collections, making changes to payment plans, or offering patients a loan to pay the debt until
they check eligibility and help those patients apply.

Arkansas | Oct 27, 2023 | News Story | Food Insecurity

Arkansas Leads Country in Food Insecurity

Arkansas has the high rate of food insecurity, with 16.6 percent of residents experiencing food
insecurity between 2020 to 2022, reports KARK. The Arkansas rate marked the biggest jump in
food insecurity for all states against the previous measure, a 2.8 percent increase from the rate
during the period from 2017 to 2019.

Ohio | Oct 18, 2023 | Report | Health Costs

City Leaders Announce $335 Million in Medical Debt Relief

Columbus city leaders announced $335 million in medical debt forgiveness for residents, reports
The Columbus Dispatch. The City Council partnered with the Central Ohio Hospital Council to
provide debt relief for Columbus residents who were treated at any and all of the four area
hospital systems that make up the council from 2015 through 2020. Patients earning between
200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for relief. The council estimates
340,660 Columbus residents will receive debt forgiveness, with an average of $984 in debt
relieved per patient.

Texas | Oct 9, 2023 | Report | Consolidation

Texans Concerned About Health Care Consolidation and Increasing Prices

A survey has found that Texas respondents are concerned about consolidation in the health
care industry, reports D Magazine. The survey from Texas 2036 found that 30 percent of
respondents were concerned about health care prices and 87 percent are concerned about
health care consolidation. In addition, more than half supported greater antitrust enforcement by
the government to address consolidation, and more than half wanted prohibitions on hospitals
and insurance companies from owning physician groups and pharmacies.