Alaska Lawmakers To Consider Possible Challenge To Gov. On Medicaid Expansion
Legislative leaders are meeting today on the issue. Gov. Bill Walker has opted to expand the health care program for low-income residents after the legislature failed to act on his request. Also, a key Republican in Montana is raising concerns about the state's plan to expand Medicaid.
Alaska Dispatch News:
Committee Will Examine Potential Legal Challenge To Medicaid Expansion In Alaska
A joint Alaska House-Senate committee has scheduled a meeting Tuesday to examine whether the Legislature can challenge Gov. Bill Walker’s move to expand the Medicaid health care program. Walker announced last month that he was using his executive power to expand Medicaid after lawmakers rejected his attempts to do so during the legislative session earlier in the year. Walker, a Republican-turned-independent, made Medicaid expansion one of his key promises during his campaign for governor last year. (Herz, 8/17)
Montana Public Radio:
Wittich Suspicious Of Montana Medicaid Expansion Waiver Application
Montana is asking the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, to give it a waiver from regular Medicaid rules so the state can expand the government health program for children, the disabled and low income people on terms state lawmakers passed earlier this year. Representative Art Wittich, a Belgrade Republican, says the state's draft waiver application appears to leave out provisions requiring some recipients to work or look for work to continue receiving benefits. ... Wittich sits on a special oversight committee for Montana Medicaid expansion established in the new law that met Monday. Tara Veazey, the governor's health policy advisor assured Wittich the employment requirements in the bill will be part of Montana's waiver application, which it plans to submit in four weeks. (Whitney, 8/17)
In other news, Iowa is pushing forward on the governor's plan to add managed care to the state's Medicaid program.
The Associated Press:
Iowa Picks 4 Vendors To Take Over $4.2B Medicaid Program
Four national companies will take over management of Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program under an overhaul that will affect how nearly one in five Iowans receives health care, state officials announced Monday. The Iowa Department of Human Services on Monday released the selection of Amerigroup Corp., AmeriHealth Caritas, UnitedHealthcare Plan of the River Valley and WellCare Health Plans. They are expected to administer services beginning Jan. 1 for the 560,000 children, low-income residents and disabled who are on Medicaid. (Foley, 8/17)
Des Moines Register:
Iowa DHS Awards Medicaid Contracts To Private Firms
The Iowa Department of Human Services said Monday that four private firms will be awarded contracts to manage the state’s Medicaid health insurance program for 560,000 poor and disabled Iowans. ... State officials have not yet negotiated the contracts, said DHS spokeswoman Amy McCoy. But Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration has projected the use of private managed care will save $51.3 million from January through June 2016, its first six months. (Petroski, 8/17)