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State Actions to Facilitate Access to Medicaid and CHIP Coverage in Response to COVID-19

This brief summarizes state changes to Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment policies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, beyond those required to access enhanced federal funding. It is based on KFF analysis of approved Medicaid and CHIP state plan amendments (SPAs) and information on state websites as of May 21, 2020.

Early Look at Medicaid Spending and Enrollment Trends Amid COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has generated both a public health crisis and an economic crisis, with major implications for Medicaid, a countercyclical program. During economic downturns, more people enroll in Medicaid, increasing program spending at the same time state tax revenues may be falling. To help support states as enrollment in Medicaid grows and ensure existing enrollees maintain continuous coverage, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) authorized a 6.2 percentage point increase in the federal match rate (“FMAP”) (retroactive to January 1, 2020) available if states meet certain “maintenance of eligibility” (MOE) requirements. This brief provides some early insights into the current picture of Medicaid spending and enrollment, as Congress considers providing additional fiscal relief through the federal Medicaid match rate.

How Can Lessons from Medicaid Help Connect People to Unemployment Insurance?

Millions of people are losing jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and seeking financial assistance through Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. While UI can provide an important source of temporary assistance for many people losing jobs, there have been reports of major challenges accessing UI benefits. Over time, states have significantly streamlined Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) application and enrollment processes to overcome many similar challenges to connect eligible people to health insurance coverage. As such, previous experience enrolling individuals into Medicaid and CHIP can provide lessons learned that could help inform efforts to connect people to UI. This brief summarizes some key lessons learned and discusses how states could potentially apply these lessons to UI.

A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage in 2020

Medicare Advantage enrollment has grown rapidly over the past decade, and Medicare Advantage plans have taken on a larger role in the Medicare program. More than 24 million Medicare beneficiaries (36%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2020. This data analysis provides updated information about Medicare Advantage enrollment trends, premiums, and out-of-pocket limits. It also includes analyses of Medicare Advantage plans’ extra benefits and prior authorization requirements. The analysis also highlights changes pertaining to Medicare Advantage coverage that have occurred in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility, Enrollment, and Cost Sharing Policies as of January 2020: Findings from a 50-State Survey

This 18th annual survey of the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) provides data on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility, enrollment, renewal, and cost sharing policies as of January 2020. The survey findings highlight state variation in policies that affect individuals’ ability to access coverage and care amid the COVID-19 public health crisis. They also provide examples of actions states can take to expand eligibility and simplify enrollment to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Election 2020: State Health Care Snapshots

Health care is a top issue for voters in the 2020 election. To understand the health care landscape in which the 2020 election policy debates will unfold, these state health care snapshots provide data across a variety of health policy subjects, including health care costs, health coverage—Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance—and the uninsured, women’s health, health status, and access to care.

Medicaid: What to Watch in 2020

Medicaid, the provider of health insurance coverage for about one in five Americans and the largest payer for long-term care services in the community and nursing homes, continues to be a key part of health policy debates at the federal and state level. Key Medicaid issues to watch in 2020 include: Medicaid expansion developments; Section 1115 waiver activity; enrollment and spending trends; benefits, payment and delivery system reforms, and the implications of the 2020 elections.