Utah Seeks To Expand Medicaid To Cover Up To 5,000 More Low-Income Parents
The state last year asked federal officials to approve a plan to expand Medicaid to 9,000 to 11,000 Utahns but that hasn't yet received a review. Also in the news, Indiana officials are asking the Medicaid program to not cover one form of the drug Suboxone, which is used to treat addiction, because they are concerned about its proliferation in the state's prisons and jails, where some people use it to get high.
Salt Lake Tribune:
State Officials Send Feds Medicaid Expansion Plan For Low-Income Parents
As Utah officials continue to wait for federal approval of their small-scale Medicaid expansion plan, they hope to expand coverage to some parents. Tom Hudachko, state Department of Health spokesman, said Friday that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) "verbally indicated" to state officials late last year that it would approve that part of the expansion, covering low-income parents with dependent children. The state has submitted a separate plan focused solely on that group. It would cover an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 low-income parents currently not covered by Medicaid, a program designed to deliver care to low-income individuals and families. (Stuckey, 2/3)
Utah Moves Forward With 'Limited Medicaid Expansion' For Up To 5,000 Parents
Another 3,000 to 5,000 low-income Utah parents will become eligible for Medicaid under what the Utah Department of Health is calling "limited Medicaid expansion." But approximately 6,500 childless adults who are homeless, involved in the criminal justice system, or in need of substance abuse and mental health treatment remain in limbo. (Chen, 2/3)
The Associated Press:
Utah To Expand Medicaid To Cover More Poor Parents
The plan announced by Utah's Department of Health would cover parents earning up to 60 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $14,760 annually for a family of four. Currently the state only covers parents earning up to 45 percent of the federal poverty level, about $11,070 a year for a four-member family. (Price, 2/3)
Jailers Ask Medicaid To Solve 'Big Problem'
Public safety officials are calling upon the state’s Medicaid program to cease covering an addiction drug in its film form, which they say has become the top contraband item circulating in the state’s correctional facilities. More than 100 people signed a letter to the head of Indiana’s Medicaid program requesting that the state remove the film form of Suboxone, or buprenorphine, from its formulary in the hope of preventing its proliferation inside the Indiana's prisons and jails. (Rudavsky, 2/3)
Opposition Mounts To Trump's Medicaid Block Grant Idea
There is escalating opposition building across the country to an effort by the Trump White House and the Republican-led Congress to give each state a fixed block grant of federal money to pay for Medicaid coverage for poor Americans. Such an idea would be a huge change in how Medicaid is financed. Opponents say it could lead to reduced benefits if states don’t have the ability to pick up costs for new treatments or an influx of eligible patients during bad economic times that trigger job loss. Hospitals, insurers, doctors and just last week – the nation’s giant lobby for seniors – AARP, came out against Medicaid block grants. (Japsen, 2/5)