Appeals court weighs legality of ‘junk’ insurance plans amid COVID-19 outbreak

March 20, 2020, Modern Healthcare, Rachel Cohrs - Federal appellate judges on Friday questioned Congress’ intent for the role of short-term, limited-duration plans in the health insurance marketplace while weighing whether the Trump administration’s 2018 expansion of the plans was legal. The oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit came amid renewed focus on requirements for short-term, limited duration health plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plans are not required to cover COVID-19 testing without cost-sharing like comprehensive public and private insurance plans, can impose lifetime dollar limits on benefits and can deny coverage based on preexisting conditions.

Temporary Medicaid changes announced in response to coronavirus outbreak

March 19, 2020, Mississippi Business Journal, MBJ Staff - In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) will expand its coverage of telehealth services throughout the state in alignment with Governor Tate Reeves’ recommendations on leveraging telemedicine to care for patients while limiting unnecessary travel, clinic visits and possible exposure. Effective immediately through April 30, 2020, DOM’s Emergency Telehealth Policy will allow additional use of telehealth services to combat the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Details of enhanced services include the following.

National Emergency Declaration Speeds Low-Income Health Care

March 13, 2020, PEW Trusts, Michael Ollove - The national emergency declaration President Donald Trump delivered today increases states’ authority to help low-income residents get testing and treatment for the new coronavirus. Trump’s declaration signals to governors that they can now apply to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for exemptions from some of the regulations governing Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. If those requests are granted, it could help governors address the crisis in a variety of ways.

GOP-led states diverge on easing Medicaid access during COVID-19

March 18, 2020, Modern Healthcare, Harris Meyer - Work requirements and premiums are precisely the kinds of policies that are dangerous now and divert energy for state government staff, who are under enormous stress,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. “They need to focus on facilitating as many people’s access to care as they can.

Coronavirus in Mississippi: COVID-19 cases county-by-county in state

March 19, 2020, The Clarion Ledger, Staff Reports - The Mississippi Department of Health on Thursday listed 50 cases of novel coronavirus across 21 counties. The state’s first presumptive case, reported on March 11, was a Forrest County man who had traveled to Florida. Since then, 49 additional cases have been reported. Coronavirus cases are surging across the United States. The latest report from Johns Hopkins University puts the number of confirmed cases of the virus across the globe at 222,642. So far, the U.S. has 9,415 cases. Here’s a look at the cases in Mississippi by county.

Mississippians prepare for impact of coronavirus on food supply

March 19, 2020, Mississippi Today, Alex Rozier - While people everywhere stockpile their kitchen cabinets as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise, organizers in Mississippi prepare for rising food demands in one of the most food insecure states.On Wednesday morning in Vicksburg, hours before Mayor George Flaggs declared a civil emergency in response to the outbreak, over a hundred teachers, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and other volunteers came together to bag up 5,000 lunches to bring to children’s homes while schools are closed.At one of the bus stops in nearby Bovina, Josie Williams drove up with her sixth-grade grandson to pick up a lunch.