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Key Themes in Medicaid Section 1115 Behavioral Health Waivers

State interest in Medicaid Section 1115 behavioral health waivers, including mental health and substance use disorders, remains high. As of November, 2017, there are 15 approved and 11 pending behavioral health waivers in 22 states. This issue brief describes recent waiver activity in four areas: using Medicaid funds to pay for substance use and/or mental health services in “institutions for mental disease” (IMDs), expanding community-based behavioral health benefits, expanding Medicaid eligibility to cover additional people with behavioral health needs, and financing delivery system reforms.

New KFF Resource Tracks Developments in States’ Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers

A new resource from the Kaiser Family Foundation enables users to keep abreast of Section 1115 Medicaid waivers that are pending or have been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. KFF’s Medicaid waiver tracker includes interactive maps that allow users to view states’ approved and pending waivers…

Summary of the 2018 CHIP Funding Extension

On January 22, 2018, Congress passed a six-year extension of CHIP funding as part of a broader continuing resolution to fund the federal government. Federal funding for CHIP had expired on September 30, 2017. Without additional funding available, states operated their CHIP programs using remaining funds from previous years. However, some states came close to exhausting funding, leading them to make contingency plans to reduce coverage and notify families of potential coverage reductions. In late December 2017, Congress provided some short-term funding for early 2018, but some states still expected to exhaust funds by March 2018. The six-year funding extension provides stable funding for states to continue their CHIP coverage. This fact sheet provides a summary of key provisions of the CHIP funding extension.

A Guide to the Lawsuit Challenging CMS’s Approval of the Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid Waiver

On January 11, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Director letter announcing a new policy that, for the 1st time, allows states to condition Medicaid on participation in a work or “community engagement” program. The next day, CMS approved a new Medicaid waiver in Kentucky. The waiver includes a program called Kentucky HEALTH, which encompasses a work requirement as well as coverage lockouts of up to 6 months for failure to pay monthly premiums (up to 4% of income), timely renew eligibility, or timely report a change in circumstances, among other provisions. Kentucky HEALTH applies to most nonelderly adults, including low-income parents and expansion adults. The state plans to implement Kentucky HEALTH by July, 2018. On January 24, 2018, 15 Kentucky Medicaid enrollees filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging CMS’s authority to issue the work requirement policy and approve the Kentucky waiver. This issue brief answers 5 key questions about the case.

Approved Changes in Indiana’s Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver Extension

On February 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved an amended extension of Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Program 2.0 (HIP 2.0) Section 1115 demonstration waiver. Indiana’s waiver initially implemented the ACA’s Medicaid expansion from February, 2015 through January, 2018 by modifying Indiana’s pre-ACA limited coverage expansion waiver (HIP 1.0). Unlike other states that implemented the ACA’s Medicaid expansion through a waiver, Indiana’s demonstration also changes the terms of coverage for non-expansion adults (low-income parents and those eligible for Transitional Medical Assistance, TMA). The February, 2018 extension continues most components of HIP 2.0 and adds some new provisions.

How Might Older Nonelderly Medicaid Adults with Disabilities Be Affected By Work Requirements in Section 1115 Waivers?

Most of the states with approved or pending Section 1115 waivers that condition Medicaid eligibility on work would apply those requirements to all or most nonelderly adults (ages 19-64) who are not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash assistance, including older nonelderly adults (ages 50-64). Older nonelderly adults may be limited in their ability to satisfy a work requirement due to barriers resulting from age and/or disability. Previous analysis shows that many nonelderly Medicaid adults (ages 19-64) have functional limitations that may interfere with their ability to work but do not rise to the stringent SSI level of disability, making them potentially subject to work requirements. Older nonelderly adults are over twice as likely to have a disability than younger adults (17% vs. 7%). Furthermore, older nonelderly adults account for nearly half (45%) of all nonelderly Medicaid adults with a disability but not SSI who could be affected by a work requirement. This analysis examines the implications of work requirements for Medicaid adults ages 50 to 64 (referred to as “older nonelderly Medicaid adults”) and provides national and state level estimates of their disability, SSI, and work status using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS).

Connecting the Justice-Involved Population to Medicaid Coverage and Care: Findings from Three States

This brief provides an overview of initiatives to connect the justice-involved population to Medicaid coverage and care in the community in three states—Arizona, Connecticut, and Massachusetts—based on interviews with key stakeholders. These states are leading efforts in these areas and provide key lessons about how to coordinate across health care and corrections and the potential of such initiatives to better link individuals to the physical and behavioral services they need. Each of the case study states is connecting individuals to coverage at multiple points within the justice system. The study states also connect individuals to care in the community as they are released from jail or prison. Stakeholders and data indicate that these approaches have increased coverage, facilitated access to care, and contributed to administrative efficiencies and state savings. However, more data and time are needed to examine the effects on health and criminal justice outcomes, including recidivism rates.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.