Week in Washington is brought to you by Michael Cohen, PhD. Tune in each week to read the latest on healthcare policy and get a glimpse of what’s on the horizon.
Week in Washington
US Life Expectancy Plunges Again
For the second year in a row, US life expectancy declined. The average life span in the US was about a year shorter. In 2019, Americans were living almost 3 years longer than they were in 2022. Covid and overdose related deaths were the primary reasons for the decline. The declines are the largest in over a year. Native Americans experienced the sharpest decline, which was 6.6 years over the past two years.
Covid Boosters Officially Approved
The FDA officially approved new boosters, which were designed specifically for the Omicron variant. Both Pfizer and Moderna boosters were approved. Individuals over 12 will be eligible for the booster and have not been infected/gotten in the last 2 months. The vaccine should be available starting next week.
Medicaid Eligibility Rules
CMS proposed rules that would change eligibility rules for Medicaid and CHIP. The rules, if finalized as proposed, would make it easier to obtain Medicaid coverage via standardizing eligibility and enrollment policies across states and reducing application challenging.
CMS announced that it would be making the largest ever investment into navigators (nearly $100 million). Navigators assist consumers to find coverage in the Exchanges and Medicaid programs. Navigator outreach has been shown to increase enrollment so the funding could have a material impact on the upcoming Open Enrollment.
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