Advocacy Group Raises Enough Signatures To Get Medicaid Expansion On Ballot In Utah
If approved, the initiative would require the state to expand Medicaid to people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, and would prohibit enrollment caps. Medicaid news comes out of Arizona and Alaska, as well.
Medicaid Expansion Initiative Set For Utah Ballot
Utah voters are poised to vote on Medicaid expansion after an advocacy group raised enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot in November. More than 165,000 signatures will be submitted Monday to place a Medicaid expansion initiative on the ballot. Organizers from the group Utah Decides Healthcare needed more than 113,000 signatures from registered voters to earn a ballot spot. (Weixel, 4/16)
Arizona Proposes $40 Million Cut To Medicaid Reimbursement
Arizona has asked the CMS to allow it to end retroactive coverage for Medicaid beneficiaries. If granted, the waiver request now under review at the CMS, would nix providers' ability to bill for services provided in the three months before a beneficiary applies for Medicaid coverage, assuming the patient was eligible during that time. Providers in the state had urged the state not to submit the waiver to the CMS because it could put hospitals in a difficult financial situation and limit access to care. Low-income individuals tend to have inconsistent employment and retroactive coverage serves as a safety net from excessive medical bills for patients and uncompensated care for hospitals. (Dixon, 4/16)
Is KidsCare Enrollment Headed For Another Enrollment Freeze?
Supporters of the children’s health insurance program KidsCare introduced a bill this year to eliminate a requirement that the state freeze enrollment if federal funding for the program drops by as little as a penny. The proposal aims to give lawmakers a chance to decide whether they want to make up any of the federal funding loss, rather than automatically halt the program. (Pitzl, 4/16)
Alaska Public Media:
Senate Medicaid Budget Cut May Overstate Savings
Senate leaders say they want to cut state government. But much of the only large cut they proposed this year – to Medicaid — isn’t likely a cut at all. The proposal doesn’t change what federal and state law require the state to spend. Vm PBased on enrollment growth and the trends the state has seen this year, it expects to spend more on Medicaid next year.The Senate budget would eliminate most of that increase. Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche said at an April 4 committee meeting that the change sends a message. “The Senate is saying: ‘We’re struggling with the increases. We want to work together on the least amount of increases possible,’” Micciche said. (Kitchenman, 4/16)