Covering Kids & Families of Indiana Newsletter   
March 28, 2024
CKF Policy Priorities and the
2024 Indiana Legislative Session
As a part of the mission, Covering Kids & Families advocates for strong and inclusive public policies on healthcare coverage and related issues. That work falls into several categories:
  • Advocate to increase & maintain coverage opportunities
  • Participate in the public dialogue on healthcare coverage 
  • Increase availability & support of healthcare professionals 
  • Address barriers by promoting population health & health equity 
  • Promote & support schools as healthcare & coverage resources 
  • Promote & support access & utilization of mental health services 
In the 2024 session, legislators passed a bill (SEA 5) to expediate lead remediation, though they excluded an amended-in provision that would have provided grants for schools for lead testing and remediation. (HB 1117 alone would have required this grant, but that bill did not receive a hearing. HB 1229 also dealt with lead testing and did not receive a hearing.) Legislators also debated school based health centers (SBHC) in SB 273. CKF-IN staff and others testified on the importance of SBHCs for health access and equity. Staff spoke opposing a provision in the bill that required a parent or guardian to be present at the time of services were provided to minors at a SBHC.
Indiana lawmakers missed an opportunity this session to address prior authorization in SB 3 and HB 1091, including how it may prevent people from receiving needed services in a timely manner. They also missed an opportunity to hear bills on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) (HB 1059), discrimination in housing (HB 1087), Medicaid payments to nursing facilities (HB 1374), student mental health (SB 201 and SB 214), and healthcare debt (SB 276), among many other things. To see all the bills tracked by CKF that did NOT pass, click here.
Legislators did not discuss work requirements for some Medicaid programs, or the Hospital Assessment Fee (HAF). However, there was a no-vote hearing on managed care and the HAF. Rep. Barrett asked the Indiana Hospital Association to problem solve the HAF, which resulted in HB 1393. It's expected that this will be brought back for more serious consideration in the 2025 session.
In the nine weeks legislators were in session, they covered a lot. However, the 2025 session promises to be where BIG policy decisions are made; think changes to Medicaid, state income tax, education, etc. CKF is preparing for the 2025 session. Please contact Amy Chandler with questions, concerns, or interest in being involved.
Federal Policy Update

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule Wednesday designed to simplify enrollment and renewal of coverage in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP).  The regulation removes annual and lifetime limits on children’s coverage along with mandating access to CHIP coverage regardless of whether a family is able to pay premiums. All waiting periods for CHIP coverage have been removed. The final rule goes into effect 60 days following publication in the Federal Register, approximately June 3, 2024. 

Specifics are detailed in the Outreach & Enrollment section below.
Registration for the Indiana School Health Network Conference Is Open!
Covering Kids & Families of Indiana is excited to announce the Indiana School Health Network Conference will be FREE to attend this year. The conference will be held on June 4-5, 2024 at the Embassy Suites in Plainfield. In addition to no cost, pre-conference sessions have been added for June 3rd. Up to 14 free continuing education credits will be offered for nursing, social work, certified health education specialists (CHES), and library professionals. General certificates of attendance will also be provided.

The Seeds of Hope: Growing a Strong Future for Hoosier Kids conference will encourage discussions and initiatives that highlight innovative approaches, community involvement, policy changes, and evolving opportunities. Keynotes include sessions on trauma-informed nutrition security, school-based Medicaid reimbursement, Indiana’s behavioral health strategic plan, and school culture and belonging.
New Study Shows a Striking Correlation Between School Attendance and Youth Suicides
A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) finds a striking correlation between attendance in school and incidences of youth suicides. According to the paper’s authors, youth suicides fall during the summer months and rise again when school begins. For some children and teenagers, the start of a new school year generates intolerable levels of anxiety and depression. For a desperate portion of these young people, suicide seems like the only exit.
Connect with ISHN
Streamlining Enrollment and Renewal

On March 27th, the Streamlining the Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Basic Health Program Application, Eligibility Determination, Enrollment, and Renewal Processes final rule was announced. The goal is to remove red tape and barriers to enrollment, increase coverage and retention, and improve health equity.

The rule will simplify enrollment and renewal processes by standardizing them nationwide. Some of the those include:

  • Children can be re-enrolled without a lock out period if their family was unable to pay CHIP premiums and they lost coverage.
  • Eliminating waiting periods for CHIP coverage.
  • Improve the transfer from Medicaid to CHIP coverage if a family’s income rises.
  • States are required to provide at least 15 days to provide requested documentation when applying and 30 days when renewing coverage.
  • For older adults and people with disabilities, states are prohibited from conducting renewals more than once every 12 months and from requiring in-person interviews.
  •  States will need to use electronic data not only for income but also assets. If the data is compatible with what was submitted, the state should not ask for further verification.
  • States cannot require people apply for other benefits in order to apply for Medicaid.
  • If a Medicaid member cannot be reached, states must check available data before terminating coverage.
Help All Families Access Health Coverage with Medicaid & CHIP

April is National Minority Health Month and along with state and national partners, CKF-IN joins efforts to raise awareness about the barriers families of underserved communities face accessing health coverage.

Barriers to accessing health care coverage have implications – especially presenting challenges for children who need preventive and routine care for lifelong physical and social development, academic success, and overall health. According to KFF 9% of Hispanic children and 7% of Black children lacked a usual source of care when sick compared to 4% of White children in 2021. KFF also found the rates of chronic diseases like asthma were more common in children that belong to minority groups, with Black children nearly twice as likely to have asthma as White children (17% vs 9%), which could be managed with access to routine care.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) recently released detailed data from the last Marketplace Open Enrollment. Also, the Office of Health Policy of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released an Issue Brief on March 22, 2024 sharing the impact of the Affordable Care Act. During the last Marketplace Open Enrollment, 295,772 Hoosiers selected a Marketplace plan and 282,000 effectuated enrollment (made their first payment as of February 2024). The Brief also states that the uninsured rate in Indiana fell from 14% in 2013 to 7% in 2022.
Resources About Health Care Coverage

Download these resources or order copies on the Tribal Products Ordering page.
Public Health Learning Agenda for Systems Change Toolkit

This toolkit provides an evidence-informed, innovative, action-oriented process for public health organizations, their partners, and communities to use transformative learning as a driver for systems change.
 A.C.T. Now: Youth Tobacco Cessation Training for Schools

Indiana American Academy of Pediatrics (INAAP) is supporting schools around youth vaping/tobacco cessation efforts by hosting two free trainings on A.C.T. Now: Youth Tobacco Cessation Training for Schools – one on April 10th and another on April 11th. These trainings are ideal for school health personnel, such as school nurses and school counselors. 
Medicaid and CHIP Renewals

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is hosting a webinar to discuss recently released guidance as well as key messages and outreach resources.

The training is on April 3, 2024 at 12 noon. Register here.
2024 Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning

Covering Kids & Families is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the 2024 Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning hosted by the Indiana Afterschool Network! The Summit takes place April 14-16, 2024 at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. This conference brings together youth programs, advocates, and partners from around the state for professional development, networking, inspiration, and more. Covering Kids & Families will be presenting Medicaid Today: What’s Changed, What’s the Same and How You Can Help. Registration closes on April 8th
Health Equity Conference

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ (CMS) second annual Health Equity Conference is scheduled for May 29-30, 2024. Attendees will hear from CMS leadership, learn about the latest health equity research, as well as promising practices and community engagement strategies. Registration is free and both in-person and virtual options are available. Learn more here.
IHCP Enrollment
Total Membership decreased in February. With 1,999,022 members, there were 8,783, or -0.44%, fewer members in February 2024 than in January 2024.
February 2024 marks the first time since January 2022 that the Total Membership fell.
Connect with CKF
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