Health Care

Health insurers have been breaking state laws for years

States have passed hundreds of laws to protect people from wrongful insurance denials. Yet from emergency services to fertility preservation, insurers still say no.

States expect ‘big jump’ in Medicaid spending

As pandemic-era federal funding support winds down, state Medicaid directors said in a survey that they anticipate their share of the costs to increase even as enrollment declines.

Expanded health insurance for immigrants gains traction in states

By increasing access to health insurance, including for immigrants lacking permanent legal status, states can reduce the burden of health care costs for communities.

New California law offers fresh protection from steep ambulance bills

The law prohibits ambulance companies from balance billing patients, or charging them for any unpaid costs after insurance. Patients can expect to save an average of nearly $1,100 per emergency ambulance ride, experts say.

‘Worse than people can imagine’: Medicaid ‘unwinding’ breeds chaos in states

States have terminated Medicaid coverage for more than 10 million Americans since March, leaving families and individuals scrambling to seek alternative health insurance plans or apply for coverage renewals.

GOP states embrace Uber, Lyft to take low-income patients to medical appointments

The companies have lobbied states to use Medicaid funding to pay for the trips.

Report: Abortions up nationwide post-Dobbs, soared in some states

Despite some states' attempts to restrict abortion access, the number of abortions have increased nationwide since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Some observers say the rise in patients seeking abortions could put a strain on clinics with limited resources and staff.

10 Medicaid holdout states scramble to improve health coverage

But such efforts are more expensive and help fewer people, critics say.

Graying prisons face accelerating health care needs

Rapidly growing numbers of older inmates with diabetes, dementia and liver disease are forcing states to reevaluate early release policies and the social safety nets that might prevent incarceration.

7 million Americans lose Medicaid coverage

Thirty states have wrongly disenrolled people during the “unwinding” of the health insurance program from pandemic-era policies. But nearly half a million individuals—many of them kids—have since been reinstated. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

California enters the ring of drug manufacturing. Could others follow?

As insulin prices have skyrocketed, states have intervened to lower them with price caps. Now, California’s decision to manufacture its own is leading other states to consider similar steps in an effort to ensure essential medicines are affordable to the public.

How will rural Americans fare during Medicaid unwinding? Experts fear they’re on their own

Rural residents face additional barriers to renewing their Medicaid coverage, including longer distances to eligibility offices, less access to the internet or a lack of health insurance counselors in their communities.

You might need an ambulance, but your state might not see it as ‘essential’

Ambulance services can receive state money once declared essential services.

Strained juvenile justice systems get relief from mobile behavioral health programs

Community-based crisis intervention services are diverting adolescents with mental and behavioral health issues from the criminal justice system, which is unequipped to meet their needs.

How one state is heading off the costs of an aging population

Washington recently launched a long-term care insurance program that looks to support aging in place for a burgeoning senior population.

‘Conscience’ bills let medical providers opt out of providing a wide range of care

One state will block patients' ability to take legal action against health care providers who refuse to participate in procedures such as abortion or medically assisted death, a move critics say will restrict individuals' rights to essential care.

The nation’s biggest public union wants to help fix the workforce shortage

The group has launched a listening tour and has already received feedback from state and local workers on what governments can do to attract and retain employees.

CDC to reduce funding for states’ child vaccination programs

Citing the recent debt ceiling deal, the CDC is trimming its funding to child vaccination programs that focus on communities vulnerable to disease outbreaks. The cuts come despite data showing the percentage of children getting vaccinated has dropped in recent years.

We’re older than we used to be, especially in these states

As states age, the need for senior-friendly health care and housing grows.

What happened to the Idaho Health Data Exchange, and can other states learn from it?

The exchange ran into financial troubles after its leadership made funding deals that fell through, leading to a bitter feud over a contract.