Democrats Want An Accounting Of How Much Federal Money Is Spent Setting Up Medicaid Work Requirements
So far, CMS has given three states the green light to require able-bodied adult Medicaid enrollees to work or volunteer in order to get health coverage. The costs of standing up systems to monitor and enforce those rules, however, has drawn scrutiny. Medicaid news comes out of Utah, Maine, Mississippi and California, as well.
Top Dems Call On CMS To Release Cost Of Medicaid Work Requirements
Two leading congressional Democrats want to know the costs associated with conservative states adding eligibility requirements for their Medicaid populations, echoing concerns within the states that the changes are adding expenses to curb enrollment. The Democratic ranking members of the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce committees, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Frank Pallone of New Jersey sent an oversight letter to the CMS Tuesday asking how many state and federal dollars are being spent to administer new Medicaid requirements such as work mandates and premium cost-sharing. (Luthi, 3/27)
The Salt Lake Tribune:
Utah Governor Signs Medicaid Expansion Bill. Now, Utah Waits To See If The Feds Will Approve It.
Gov. Gary Herbert signed a measure Tuesday to give more than 70,000 needy Utahns access to government health coverage, ending years of failed attempts on Capitol Hill to expand Medicaid in the state. But whether House Bill 472 ever takes effect still remains uncertain. Under President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Utah law needs approval by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which has sent mixed signals on whether it will fully sign off. (Ramseth, 3/28)
Portland Press Herald:
Supporters Of Voter-Approved Medicaid Expansion Press LePage, Lawmakers As Deadline Nears
Supporters of Medicaid expansion in Maine called on Gov. Paul LePage and lawmakers to work together to begin implementing the voter-approved law as the July 2 implementation date approaches. But the LePage administration and lawmakers remain locked in a dispute over funding, potentially setting the stage for legal wrangling over an issue that has been debated in Maine for years. (Miller, 3/27)
The Associated Press:
Mississippi Lawmakers Revise Some Medicaid Services
Mississippi lawmakers are updating the state's Medicaid program, allocating nearly $1 billion in state funds for the program that insures 1 in 4 state residents. Senate Bill 2836 , also known at the Medicaid technical bill, was approved Tuesday by the House and Senate and sent to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant for his approval or veto. The updated program would establish funding for substance abuse treatment for beneficiaries addicted to Schedule II and higher narcotics. (Mearhoff, 3/27)
Thousands Mistakenly Enrolled During State’s Medicaid Expansion, Feds Find
California signed up an estimated 450,000 people under Medicaid expansion who may not have been eligible for coverage, according to a report by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ chief watchdog. In a Feb. 21 report, the HHS’ inspector general estimated that California spent $738.2 million on 366,078 expansion beneficiaries who were ineligible. It spent an additional $416.5 million for 79,055 expansion enrollees who were “potentially” ineligible, auditors found. (Terhune, 3/26)