State News

Arkansas | Jan 15, 2024 | Report | Social Determinants of Health

Disparities in Arkansas Child Health Persist, Especially for Black Families

Arkansas’ Black children consistently have worse health outcomes from birth onward than
children of other races, reports the Arkansas Advocate. On a scale of 0 to 1,000 for child
wellbeing, Black children scored 299, compared to 397 for Latino children, 597 for white
children, 562 for children of two or more races, 616 for American Indian or Alaska Native
children, and 624 for Asian and Pacific Islander children. Arkansas has the nation’s highest
maternal mortality rate and the third highest infant mortality rate regardless of race. Arkansas’
health burdens and disparities are augmented by a shortage of providers in rural areas.

Florida | Jan 12, 2024 | Report | Drug Costs

FDA to Allow Florida to Import Prescription Drugs from Florida

The FDA will allow the state of Florida to import certain prescription drugs from Canda to lower
drugs prices, reports KFF. The program has been authorized for a period of two years and
during its first year is estimated to save over $183 million. Imported drugs will only be available
to those that receive Medicaid, care through county health departments, or other state and
government funded health programs. Florida may initially import drugs to treat HIV/AIDS, mental
health conditions, and prostate cancer. Biological drugs, such as insulin, are not eligible for

California | Jan 9, 2024 | Blog | Consolidation

California Requires Notification for Health Care Mergers

California will require health care entities to notify the state of mergers closing on or after April 1,
2024, according to Triage Health Law. Entities will have to give the state 90-day notice for
certain mergers, acquisitions, or other health care service transactions that meet certain criteria,
such as having a market value of $25 million or more, increasing the entity’s California-derived
revenue by $10 million or 20 percent, or exchanging 25 percent or more of the California assets
for the submitted.

Maine | Jan 5, 2024 | Report | Consolidation

Hospital Consolidation Drives High Health Care Costs in Maine

A case study by Third Way finds that hospital consolidation has driven up the cost of care in
Maine, reports Bangor Daily News. Costs in Maine are the highest in New England and exceed
the national average by 25 percent. The study recommends that state and federal lawmakers
strengthen hospital price transparency, limit facility fees and restrict tactics that reduce
competition when negotiating insurance contracts.

New Mexico | Jan 4, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

New Mexico Caps Cost-Sharing for Diabetes Supplies, Breast Exams, and STI Treatment

New Mexico is capping cost-sharing for certain services in state-regulated plans, including
diabetes supplies, breast cancer screening exams, and sexually transmitted infection (STI)
treatment, reports Source NM. State-regulated plans will be required to provide basic diabetes
care and supplies alongside a $25 cap on a 30-day supply of insulin. In addition, cost-sharing is
eliminated for diagnostic breast exams and prevention and treatment for STIs. Cancer
biomarker testing must now also be covered by insurance, though cost-sharing is allowed.

Utah | Jan 4, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Most People Dropped in Utah’s Medicaid ‘Unwinding’ Never Tried to Renew Coverage

A survey of people who lost Medicaid coverage in Utah last year found just over half made no
effort to renew their coverage, in many cases due to difficulties with paperwork requirements,
reports KFF Health News. While many found insurance elsewhere—39 percent through an
employer and 15 percent through the Marketplace—thirty percent became uninsured and many
reported obstacles in reapplying for Medicaid. Nineteen percent said they never received
renewal documents from the Utah Medicaid enrollment agency, the Department of Workforce
Services. Fourteen percent said they didn’t get around to the paperwork, 13 percent said it was
too difficult, and 7 percent said they didn’t have the necessary documents to prove their

Texas | Jan 2, 2024 | Report | Affordability

Large Share of Texans Cannot Afford Mental Health Care

A state-by-state report has found that Texans with mental health needs struggle to find and
afford treatment, reports KERA News. According to the report from insurance company
Milliman, 88 percent of Texans live in a county without enough mental health providers, and the
average cost of an out-of-pocket therapy session in the state was at least $160, or $68 even
with insurance if the provider is out-of-network.

California | Jan 1, 2024 | News Story | Health Costs

California Reduces Cost-Sharing for Reproductive Health Services

Starting January 1, 2024, California will require certain insurers to cover more of the cost of
vasectomies and birth control, according to Cal Matters. The Contraceptive Equity Act requires
insurers regulated by the state to charge no copay for birth control products at in-network
pharmacies, and vasectomies will be subjected to reduced cost-sharing.

Massachusetts | Dec 29, 2023 | Report | Health Costs

Health Care Inequities Persist on Race, Class Lines Across Massachusetts

A report released by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation finds racism is
preventing people of color, and those who don’t speak English as their primary language, from
receiving the same quality of healthcare that white people get, reports Mass Live. While the
report notes the progress that has been made toward addressing the cause and effects of
racism, there is still more work to be done. Efforts need to be coordinated and bring
stakeholders together in new ways, according to the foundation.

California | Dec 29, 2023 | News Story | Health Costs

California is the First State to Offer Health Insurance to All Undocumented Immigrants

As of January 1, 2024 all California residents, regardless of immigration status or age, will be
eligible for Medi-Cal—California’s Medicaid Program—reports ABC News. The program is
expected to provide full health care coverage for approximately 700,000 residents aged 26-49
who were not previously eligible.