On January 28th, President Biden issued an “Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.” The E.O. states that the Biden Administration will promote policies that “protect and strengthen Medicaid and the ACA and … make high-quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every American.” To this end, the E.O. makes several important policy changes, including asking the HHS Secretary to establish a Special Enrollment Period for the ACA marketplace,… More
Category Archives: ACA
UPDATED: It’s out! The much anticipated guidance, entitled the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” (HAO), from CMS introducing ways to revamp Medicaid financing has been out for nearly a week and we have had some time to review the guidance in more detail. We’ve update our questions below with answers based on our review of the guidance document.
On December 15, 2017, CMS Director Brian Neale informed State Medicaid Directors of CMS’ intent to phase out funding for Designated State Health Programs (DSHP) in Section 1115 waivers. CMS will no longer approve waiver requests under Section 1115 for DSHP funding, and will not renew portions of existing waivers that provide DSHP funding.
Gov. Charlie Baker testified with four other governors on Capitol Hill in the latest sign that he’s playing a role in the next phase of federal health care reform. Partner Tom Barker speaks with WBUR about Baker’s proposal to change the way Massachusetts covers some low-income individuals, and how this could garner national attention. Click here to read the article. More
On July 21, 2017, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (“EOHHS”) announced its intent to submit a request to amend its existing MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). If approved (by both the State legislature, and CMS), it would be the most sweeping change to any state’s Medicaid pharmacy benefit to date. We previously previewed some of the changes EOHHS was considering under the new flexibility granted to states under the Price/Verma administration on this blog.… More
Since the beginning of this year’s legislative session, Governor Baker has expressed concern over the growth in enrollment in MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. A look at the numbers explains why. Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion in 2014, there were 1.3 million people enrolled in MassHealth. By April of this year, that number had increased by 28.4%, to nearly 1.7 million state residents.… More
Partner Tom Barker joined POLITICO’s Pro Health Care Briefing: Medicaid as a Driver of Care Innovation in the States on Tuesday to discuss how states are reshaping Medicaid to deliver more value to patients and taxpayers. Watch a video from the live event here:
On March 22, 2017, the Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma taking her and HHS Secretary Tom Price up on their offer to grant states more flexibility under the Medicaid program. In her letter, Secretary Sudders pointed to four aspects of the Medicaid program from which Massachusetts would like “immediate relief” and greater flexibility:
- Flexibility in benefit design;…
Price and Verma to State Governors: Just Come and Ask Us for Flexibility – What Providers & Drug Manufacturers Could Expect
The last several weeks have been nothing short of enthralling, like an episode of House of Cards. After seven years of campaigning on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans were ultimately unable to create consensus for their highly anticipated repeal-and-replace legislation known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA). But as the drama on the Hill comes to an end (at least until tax reform is picked up),… More
It’s official—the 115th Congress has set its sights on overhauling the Medicaid program. We predicted as much (here and here) shortly after the November 2016 presidential elections, but now we have some insight into exactly what those proposed changes to Medicaid will be.
There is little doubt now that Republicans have set their sights on Medicaid as part of their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On February 24, 2017, a House Republican Discussion Draft Bill (Draft Bill) dated February 10, 2017, was leaked to the press. The Draft Bill repeals major provisions of the ACA and includes some replacement proposals as well. However, one of the Draft Bill’s prominent focus areas is Medicaid. … More
One of the most pressing issues before the 115th Congress and newly inaugurated President Trump will be to determine how the Medicaid expansion population will fit into a broader reform package for the Medicaid program as a whole. Many state governors in expansion states have expressed concern that the long-standing Republican proposal of block-granting Medicaid will leave them exposed to unsustainable financial pressures.
President Trump’s nominee for HHS Secretary,… More
Medicaid Directors: Trump Administration Should Formally Include States in Development of Medicaid Regulations
Over the course of the last several blog posts, we’ve discussed how the Medicaid program could potentially be transformed under the incoming Trump Administration. We also described the central role that state-led demonstration waivers would play in defining the parameters of this transformation. Now, the association for State Medicaid directors is weighing in on precisely this issue. The National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NAMD)recently published a document laying out the group’s priorities for the Medicaid program in the first 100 days of the incoming Trump Administration. … More
Last week, we wrote about the importance of the Medicaid program, especially given its size as, by far, the largest health insurance plan in the United States. We noted that Medicaid covers 71 million people (this number increased dramatically after the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010). We said that “Medicaid is important for all of us” – whether you are a program beneficiary, a taxpayer who helps pay for it,… More
On January 21, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a long-awaited final rule entitled “Medicaid Program: Covered Outpatient Drugs.” CMS actually proposed this rule in February, 2012, so it’s taken almost four years for the agency to finalize the many policies on which they sought comment – almost all of which flow from the enactment of the federal health care reform law that was enacted in 2010,… More
On July 30, the country marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the two programs into law.
I am very proud to say that I have been involved in health care law and policy for more than one-half of the lifetime of these important social programs. My first job out of college – right after the 15th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid –… More
On March 31, the United States Supreme Court concluded, in a long-awaited decision, that the alleged failure of a state Medicaid plan to comply with the provisions of the federal Medicaid Act is not enforceable in the federal courts by alleging that the state plan has been adopted in violation of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center. The decision, while relatively narrow, (more on that in a bit) does seem to largely foreclose federal judicial enforcement of the requirements of the Medicaid statute against the states.… More
Could the same “state’s rights” argument that struck down the Medicaid expansion, save the subsidies?
To completely ignore the Supreme Court’s oral arguments last week in King v. Burwell would be a disservice to you, our readers. Even though this is a Medicaid blog, in a post-ACA world is it increasingly difficult to separate out the individual pieces of our insurance system. The ACA (at least in how it was designed) was intended to create a continuum of coverage: Medicaid for the lowest income Americans,… More
The big news out of Ohio today is the announcement by the State Medicaid Director John McCarthy that, at the end of week, 61,000 Ohioans are set to lose their Medicaid coverage for failure to verify household income. According to McCarthy, the federal government requires states to verify income each year to ensure that Medicaid recipients still qualify for coverage.
So what do the Federal rules and regulations say about Medicaid income verification?… More
Note: for a fairly up-to-date analysis of where states stand on the Medicaid expansion, check out this nice break down by the Advisory Board.
As we previously discussed, the agreement between Indiana and CMS last week to expand Medicaid in that state has big implications for the Medicaid program. First, Indiana’s agreement with CMS has seemed to trigger a handful of other Red States that now appear ready to rethink agreements with CMS. … More
As if eligibility for public health insurance programs in the United States weren’t confusing enough, the issues become even more complicated when the applicant isn’t a U.S. citizen. This presentation (created by Editor Tom for a class he teaches at George Washington University), with a few case studies, walks through some of the pathways to coverage and even points out a few surprising results!