As concerns regarding widespread COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection in the United States increase, state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies are evaluating how to leverage their public health insurance programs to respond. Medicaid and CHIP agencies are dusting off disaster preparedness toolkits and inventory checklists that were originally prepared to respond to hurricanes, floods and wildfires and tailoring those strategies to address the impacts that COVID-19 will likely have on Medicaid/CHIP enrollees, providers, and state agency workforces.
In a new article written for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health & Value Strategies program, Manatt Health discusses strategies state Medicaid and CHIP agencies can pursue as part of their emergency preparedness planning for, and response to, COVID-19.
The article highlights areas of concern and tools with which state policymakers can address them. Strategies proposed for addressing the pandemic include the following:
- Eliminate cost sharing barriers to testing and care
- Ensure timely access to healthcare services
- Address a compromised provider workforce
- Leverage telehealth to treat Medicaid/CHIP enrollees remotely
- Partner with Medicaid/CHIP managed care plans to communicate with enrollees and providers
- Prepare for a diminished state agency workforce
- Coverage for the uninsured
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