States in Action Archive

States in Action: Innovations in State Health Policy, is a former publication of the State Health Policy and Practices program. This bimonthly newsletter tracked innovative strategies certain states used to stretch health care dollars and improve the quality of care.

Wisconsin: Private and Public Sectors Partner to Promote Transparency

Public and private stakeholders--including businesses, hospitals, physicians, insurers, state employees, and the state Medicaid program--are collaborating to collect, compare, and publicly report information about the costs and quality of health care in Wisconsin. The state committed public funds to the creation of a database of health care information intended to enhance the transparency, quality, and efficiency of the health care system.

Vermont Moves Toward Universal Coverage

Vermont's governor recently signed a compromise bill designed to move the state toward universal coverage and promote chronic care management.

Massachusetts Sets Out Provisions for Universal Coverage

Massachusetts is working hard to develop the rules and implement the mechanisms associated with the universal health care reform signed into law by Governor Mitt Romney in April.

New Jersey Raises Age for Health Insurance Dependency

New Jersey now requires all health insurers in the state to raise the age limit of dependents eligible for coverage under their parents' plan to 30--the highest in the nation.

Arkansas Gets Approval for Safety Net Program

Arkansas received federal approval to begin a low-cost, limited benefit health insurance plan for businesses.

"Cover Tennessee" Offers Affordable Insurance to Small Businesses

Tennessee recently launched a low-cost insurance plan for uninsured, low-income small business workers and self-employed individuals.

Idaho Simplifies Medicaid Benefit Packages

Idaho took 50 Medicaid eligibility categories and reduced them to three separate programs, each with their own distinct benefit packages intended to serve different groups' needs.

Maine Quality Forum Launches Safety Program

The Maine Quality Forum has rolled out a Safety Star Recognition Program that will enable employers and consumers to recognize hospitals in the state that are providing the safest care to patients.

California Counties Expand Children's Health Initiatives

California counties continue to make significant progress in ensuring that all children in low- to middle-income families have access to health coverage.

Pennsylvania Pursues "Cover All Kids"

Pennsylvania's Governor Ed Rendell recently proposed the "Cover All Kids" initiative, aimed at providing health insurance coverage to nearly every child in the state.

Small Business Reform Bill Blocked

The Senate blocked the Enzi bill, which would have helped small business join together to create association health plans, giving them greater purchasing power and helping them to achieve administrative efficiencies. However, opponents note that the bill would have allowed insurers to offer plans that don't cover benefits required by some states.

New Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirement Begins

A provision in the Deficit Reduction Act requires all persons applying for, or renewing, their Medicaid coverage to provide proof of their citizenship and identity. The new rules will reduce state and federal Medicaid costs by excluding people--primarily illegal immigrants and some legal immigrants--who are not eligible for the program. There are concerns, however, that the rules will inadvertently cause hardships for eligible U.S. residents.