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In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about health insurance options for the unemployed, Medicaid waivers and strategies during COVID-19, and a federal IT modernization partnership.

1. 14M workers in vulnerable industries are Medicaid, ACA eligible

A recent report found that more than 14 million individuals currently working in industries at risk for layoffs would be eligible for either Medicaid or subsidized health insurance plans through the ACA marketplaces, should they become unemployed. According to Health Payer Intelligence, eligibility depends on income, whether the state has expanded Medicaid, immigration status, and availability of a special enrollment period.

2. COVID-19: CMS releases additional blanket waivers and flexibilities

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued additional blanket waivers under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act. The National Law Review reports that the waivers offer additional flexibility for telehealth, long-term care facilities, home health aides, ambulatory surgical centers, and community mental health centers. 

3. State Medicaid and CHIP strategies to protect coverage during COVID-19

States have scrambled to ensure Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries can maintain coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. National Academy for State Policy outlines the actions each state has taken to protect and expand coverage.

4. How are states supporting Medicaid home and community-based services during the COVID-19 crisis? 

More than 2.5 million individuals received care through Medicaid home and community-based services waivers in 2018. The Kaiser Family Foundation breaks down how states are currently supporting those services, including the varied use of Section 1915(c) Appendix K waivers to expand coverage, services, and the provider pool.

5. GSA to partner with NIH in Centers of Excellence initiative

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development will partner with the General Services Administration in an IT modernization effort, according to NextGov. Experts from both federal and private sectors will focus on cloud adoption, data and analytics, and organizational change management.