The Medicare and Medicaid programs themselves are not old enough to qualify for Medicare coverage (quick history lesson: President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments into law on July 30, 1965, and the Medicaid program launched on January 1, 1966; note that CMS traces the origin of its programs back to President Theodore Roosevelt’s advocacy for social insurance). Over the past half-century (and then some),… More
Category Archives: Medicaid Eligibility
New State Health Official Letter Extends Post-PHE Processing Timelines, Implements Redetermination Requirement
We’ve previously discussed the numerous flexibilities CMS offered state Medicaid programs to respond to local outbreaks and address health concerns associated with the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).
Back in March 2020 (which feels like ages ago, right?) my colleague Tom discussed the enhanced 6.2% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding—authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and amended by the CARES Act—including the continuous-enrollment requirement for beneficiaries who had been enrolled in Medicaid on or after March 18,… More
CMS Indicates Reversal of Medicaid Work Requirements
On Friday, February 12, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) took a first step to ending Medicaid work requirements. Acting CMS Administration Elizabeth Richter sent letters to Medicaid Directors in states which had previously received 1115 waiver approvals to implement so-called “community engagement” requirements, explaining CMS now does not believe that requiring employment as a condition for Medicaid coverage promotes the program’s objectives and intends to commence a process of determining whether to withdraw the waiver approvals. … More
President Biden Takes First Step Towards Reversing Trump Era Medicaid Policies
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
CMS Releases the New Medicaid Managed Care Final Rule
On November 9, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced it finalized the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) Managed Care final rule (“2020 final rule”). According to CMS, the 2020 final rule advances CMS’s efforts to streamline the Medicaid and CHIP managed care regulatory framework and “reflects a broader strategy to relieve regulatory burdens; support state flexibility and local leadership; and promote transparency, flexibility, and innovation in the delivery of care.”
States Can Now Keep Enhanced COVID-19 Match, Make Coverage and Benefit Changes
Back in March, Tom gave you, our readers, an overview of the Administration’s and Congress’ initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the inclusion in the second Congressional package (the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) of a substantial “bump” to each state Medicaid program’s federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) during the period of the current national emergency to the extent they abide by certain minimum standards.… More
CMS Issues Guidance on FMAP Increase During COVID-19 Outbreak
As my colleague Tom Barker wrote last week, the second emergency COVID-19 supplemental bill (officially referred to as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act), signed by the President on March 18, 2020, included a new section 6008 increasing each state Medicaid program’s federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) by 6.2% during the period of the current national emergency to the extent they abide by certain minimum standards.… More
Supreme Court, in a Close Vote, Stays the Injunctions on the Public Charge Rule — UPDATED
UPDATED 2.25.2020 to reflect decision in Wolf v. Cook County, Illinois
Last summer, we wrote about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) public charge rule. As a reminder, that rule added some definition to the grounds of inadmissibility to the United States because of the likelihood that an applicant for an immigration benefit – such as a green card applicant or an individual seeking a visa to enter the United States – is likely to become a “public charge.” We’re interested in that here at the Medicaid and the Law Blog because one of the factors that the final regulation would consider is whether the applicant has ever used Medicaid in the past or was likely to do so.… More
Washington D.C. Appellate Court Upholds Prohibition on Medicaid Work Requirement Waivers
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) suffered a big loss in court last week. The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that blocked CMS from implementing one of the hallmarks of the Trump Administration’s efforts to restructure the Medicaid program. We first wrote about the agency’s attempts to require some Medicaid recipients to participate in community engagement activities back in 2018. … More
CMS Is Seeking Guidance on Medicaid Coverage for Children Provided Across State Lines
The Medicaid program generally has more generous coverage rules for children than for adults. For example, under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Testing (EPSDT) provisions of the Medicaid statute, if a child’s medical condition is identified via an EPSDT screening, the state’s Medicaid plan must cover treatment for that condition, even if the necessary treatment consists of an optional benefit under the state Medicaid plan.… More
MACPAC Releases Updated MACStats
Our friends at MACPAC have released the December 2019 edition of MACStats: the Medicaid and CHIP data book. MACStats has data and statistics on virtually any aspect of Medicaid and CHIP that you’d care to learn about. You can find the link to the document here.
The data book has five sections: key statistics (including Medicaid and CHIP enrollment which, as we pointed out in a post last month,… More
MACPAC Releases Status Update on 2014 HCBS Final Rule
We’ve written previously about the the 2014 final regulation issued by the Obama administration making significant updates to the requirements for the qualities of settings eligible for reimbursement for Medicaid home-and-community-based services (HCBS) provided under sections 1915(c), 1915(i) and 1915(k) of the Medicaid statute. With the deadline for full compliance nearing (HCBS providers must comply with the new requirements by March 17, 2022,… More
Latest HHS Financial Report Highlights Medicaid Eligibility Errors – and Foreshadows Future Actions
On November 19, 2019, CMS announced key results from the 2019 HHS Agency Financial Report, which generally provides fiscal and high-level performance data for HHS for the reporting period of October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019. While CMS leads off its press release with the good news — payment error rates in the Medicare fee-for-service program are at their lowest level since FY 2010 —… More
Why are Medicaid and CHIP enrollment numbers declining?
For much of the past two years, enrollment in the Medicaid and CHIP programs has been declining. In May, 2017, enrollment in both programs was 74.6 million people. As of May of this year, enrollment had declined by 2.5%, to 72.8 million. This decline has applied across the board, in almost every state, for adults and for children.
Superficially, this might make sense;… More
As a Public Charge Rule is Finalized by DHS, Concern Over Upcoming DOJ Rule Grows
Last Fall, we wrote about a proposed regulation issued by the Department of Homeland Security that involved one of our favorite topics: the intersection of immigration and health care law. My colleague Christian Springer and I have been following this proposed regulation very closely, and last week, it was issued in final form. Because it has generated enormous press attention and because it has significant implications for the Medicaid program,… More
Court Strikes Down Work Requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky
There’s a saying that one should work hard in the present to reap the rewards later in life. But should one need to work to qualify for Medicaid?
In a week of legal machinations and legal setbacks on the health care front for the Trump Administration, Judge James E. Boasberg’s opinion in Gresham v. Azar suggests that the answer is no,… More
CMS Updates “Settings that Isolate” Guidance for HCBS Waivers, Providing Relief to Farmstead and Lifesharing Communities
On March 22, 2019, CMS published a long-awaited letter to State Medicaid Directors and a new guidance document regarding the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program. The letter revises previous guidance that CMS had provided to states on “Settings that have the effect of isolating individuals receiving HCBS from the broader community” for purposes of receiving Federal funding for services provided under a HCBS waiver. … More
Medicaid Long-Term Care: A Background and look at the Eligibility Rules
One of the most common misperceptions of the American health care system is that if an elderly individual – maybe a parent or a grandparent – has to enter a nursing home, their stay will be fully covered by the Medicare program. But that is not accurate. Medicare does not cover long-term care. It will pay for up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility per spell of illness,… More