CMS Releases State-by-State Medicaid Scorecard

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released what is being called a “Medicaid & CHIP Scorecard” that attempts to compare the timeliness and quality of medical care of the two programs state by state, but a major problem is that reporting by the states is mostly voluntary. “Despite providing health coverage to […]

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U.S. to Spend $685 Billion on Health Care Coverage for Those Under 65 in 2018

The federal government subsidizes health insurance for most Americans through a variety of programs and tax provisions. In 2018, net subsidies for non-institutionalized people under age 65 will total $685 billion, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate. That amount includes the cost of preferential tax […]

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CMS Administrator Reaffirms Opposition to Medicaid Caps

At a health care symposium this week, Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), reaffirmed her agency’s commitment to keeping Medicaid available to its recipients without any lifetime limits or caps. Her statement follows her earlier rejection of a request by Kansas to cap Medicaid services in the state. “We’ve indicated […]

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CMS Draws Line in Sand on Medicaid Caps

Seema Verna, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), today rejected a request by the state of Kansas to cap an individual’s Medicaid benefits at three years. In a letter to Kansas officials, Verna noted that only if Medicaid recipients refused to meet any work requirements would it be possible to cut […]

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New Law: Must Work for Food Stamps in West Virginia

First it was Medicaid, and now it’s food stamps, at least in West Virginia. With no fanfare or public announcement, that state’s governor, Jim Justice, just signed a measure requiring able-bodied adults, 18-49 who are without dependents, to work, volunteer or participate in workforce training programs for 20 hours per week to receive benefits through […]

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Indiana Joins Kentucky in Requiring Work for Medicaid

On Friday, Feb. 2, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the Healthy Indiana Plan requiring some 130,000 state residents on Medicaid who aren’t already in compliance to work, enroll in school, undergo job training or volunteer for at least 20 hours a week over eight months each year. The plan follows closely on […]

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HHS Allows States to Ban Planned Parenthood from Medicaid

On Friday, Jan. 19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two major actions — in its words — “to protect life and the conscience rights of Americans.” HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing new guidance to state Medicaid directors restoring state flexibility to decide program standards. The letter […]

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States Can Now Add Work or Job Training Requirements to Medicaid

UPDATE: One day after announcing states could institute work requirements for Medicaid, Kentucky became the first state to do so as CMS approved its 2016 waiver request. The state now requires able-bodied adult recipients to participate in at least 80 hours per month of “employment activities,” which include jobs training, education and community service. The […]

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Repeal and Replace Gains New Traction

A new Republican bill that would gut the Affordable Care Act (ACAA) and replace it with block grants to the states to implement their own health care programs — even single-payer — is breathing new life into the “repeal and replace” movement that failed just seven weeks ago. Already, however, Sens. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) and […]

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CMS Seeks More Control Over Medicare Advantage Plans

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public comment before it submits a proposal for more review power over Medicare Advantage plans in order “to provide adequate access to covered services to meet the needs of the population served.” The CMS says it will submit the broader review plan to the Office […]

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