COVID-19

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Biden-Harris Administration Will Cover Free Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests Through Medicare

The Administration's new COVID-19 testing initative will now allow people in either Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage to get up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month at no cost starting this spring. Tests will be available through eligible pharmacies and other participating entities. This is the first time that Medicare has covered an over-the-counter test at no cost to beneficiaries. Through the new initiative, payment from Medicare will be provided directly to participating pharmacies to allow Medicare beneficiaries to pick up tests at no cost.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73571

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ACL Awards $150M to Expand the Aging and Disability Networks’ Public Health Workforce

In November 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that ACL would receive $150 million to expand the public health workforce within the aging and disability networks. Over this past week, ACL began distributing these funds to its grantees and grantee networks.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73333

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Fact Sheets to Help States to Keep Older Adults Safe from COVID-19

Resilient American Communities (RAC) and BellAge has put together two Winter Holiday Fact Sheets to help older adults stay safe from COVID-19. The fact sheets are based on research that shows many people underestimate the lethal threat that the pandemic presents to older adults and when they understand the risks, they are more likely to take actions to keep them safe.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73254

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The SHIP National Technical Assistance Center

The SHIP TA Center has published a one-page handout called “Medicare coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine," which comes with a companion guide for aging network professionals, "Talking about Medicare Coverage of the COVID-19 Vaccine.” The guide addresses biases, engagement & building a trusting relationship, session structure & sample scripts, handling strong emotions or difficult behaviors, frequently asked questions about Medicare coverage and the vaccine, and how to find other COVID resources.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73191

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The Biden-Harris Administration Expands Vaccination Requirements for Health Care Settings

The Administration will require COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities to protect themselves and patients from the COVID-19 Delta variant. On Thursday, September 9, 2021, CMS, in collaboration with the CDC, announced that emergency regulations requiring vaccinations for nursing home workers will be expanded to include hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies, among others.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73073

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Biden-Harris Administration Takes Additional Action to Protect America's Nursing Home Residents from COVID-19

CMS, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is developing an emergency regulation requiring staff in over 15,000 Medicare and Medicaid-participating nursing homes to get vaccinated. This new requirement is central to protecting the health and safety of nursing home residents and all staff members. Millions of vaccinations have been administered to residents and staff over the last few months and are shown to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/72981

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State Medicaid Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS) Programs Respond to COVID-19: Early Findings from a 50-State Survey

This issue brief presents early findings from the most recent KFF 50-state survey of Medicaid HCBS programs, focusing on state policies adopted in response to the pandemic, the pandemic’s impact on Medicaid HCBS enrollees and providers, and states’ early plans for the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) 10 percentage point temporary increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for HCBS.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/72975

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State Health Official Letter - Updated Guidance Related to Planning for the Resumption of Normal State Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Basic Health Program (BHP) Operations Upon Conclusion of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS released a SHO letter with updated guidance to assist states in planning for resuming normal state Medicaid, CHIP, and BHP operations for the eventual end of the public health emergency. The SHO provides updated guidance regarding the extended timeframe for states to complete pending work in eligibility and enrollment to up to 12 months after the PHE ends and redetermination of eligibility requirements states must complete after the PHE for all beneficiaries before taking adverse actions.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/72973

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