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Implications of CMS’s New “Healthy Adult Opportunity” Demonstrations for Medicaid

On January 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance inviting states to apply for new Section 1115 demonstrations known as the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” (HAO). These demonstrations would permit states “extensive flexibility” to use Medicaid funds to cover Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansion adults and other nonelderly adults covered at state option who do not qualify on the basis of disability, without being bound by many federal standards related to Medicaid eligibility, benefits, delivery systems, and program oversight. In exchange, states would agree to a limit on federal financing in the form of a per capita or aggregate cap. States that opt for the aggregate cap and meet performance standards could access a portion of federal savings if actual spending is under the cap. This issue brief explains the key elements of the HAO guidance and considers the implications of the new demonstrations.

What You Need to Know About the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR)

On November 18, 2019, the Trump Administration released a proposed rule called the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR). This brief provides some context on Medicaid financing, an overview of current state payment and financing rules, the provisions in the rule and potential implications for considerations.

Medicaid Program Integrity and Current Issues

Medicaid is a large source of spending in both state and federal budgets, making program integrity efforts important to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse and ensure appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. This brief explains what program integrity is, recent efforts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to address program integrity, and current and emerging issues.

Why it Matters: Tennessee’s Medicaid Block Grant Waiver Proposal

On November 20, 2019, Tennessee submitted an amendment to its longstanding Section 1115 Waiver that would make major financing and administrative changes to its Medicaid program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certified the waiver as complete and opened a federal public comment period through December 27, 2019. Most significantly, Tennessee is requesting to receive federal funds in the form of a “modified block grant” and to retain half of any federal “savings” achieved under the block grant demonstration. This brief provides a high-level overview of the proposed waiver changes and context for why these changes matter.

Two Medicaid-Related Initiatives That Help Promote Long-Term Care at Home and in the Community, Rather Than in Institutions, Are Set To Expire at the End of December

Two initiatives that for years have helped shift Medicaid enrollees away from nursing homes in favor of long-term care at home and in the community face year-end deadlines that could undercut that trend, according to two new KFF issue briefs. While there does not appear to be substantive disagreement over…

Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person Program: State Progress and Uncertainty Pending Federal Funding Reauthorization

Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration has helped seniors and people with disabilities move from institutions to the community by providing enhanced federal matching funds to states since 2007. The program operates in 44 states and has served over 90,000 people as of June 2018. The program is credited with helping many states establish formal institution to community transition programs that did not previously exist by enabling them to develop the necessary service and provider infrastructure. With a short-term funding extension set to expire on December 31, 2019, MFP’s future remains uncertain without a longer-term reauthorization by Congress.

Implications of the Expiration of Medicaid Long-Term Care Spousal Impoverishment Rules for Community Integration

To financially qualify for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS), an individual must have a low income and limited assets. In response to concerns that these rules could leave a spouse without adequate means of support when a married individual needs LTSS, Congress created the spousal impoverishment rules in 1988. Originally, these rules required states to protect a portion of a married couple’s income and assets to provide for the “community spouse’s” living expenses when determining nursing home financial eligibility, but gave states the option to apply the rules to home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers.
Section 2404 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed the spousal impoverishment rules to treat Medicaid HCBS and institutional care equally from January 2014 through December 2018. Congress subsequently extended Section 2404 through December 2019. This issue brief answers key questions about the spousal impoverishment rules, presents 50-state data from a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation survey about state policies and future plans in this area, and considers the implications if Congress does not further extend Section 2404.

From Ballot Initiative to Waivers: What is the Status of Medicaid Expansion in Utah?

The Utah legislature significantly changed and limited the Medicaid coverage expansion that was adopted by the voters through a ballot initiative in November 2018. This issue brief explains new provisions in Utah’s recently amended Section 1115 Medicaid waiver and the additional amendments that the state has submitted to CMS, including most recently a request for enhanced ACA federal matching funds for an expansion to 138% FPL with an enrollment cap.

Donor Government Funding for Family Planning in 2018

Donor government support for global family planning efforts totaled US$1.50 billion in 2018, up 19% from 2017 (US$1.26 billion) – and the highest level since tracking efforts began following the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012.

State Options for Medicaid Coverage of Inpatient Behavioral Health Services

This report provides data to understand current patterns of Medicaid enrollees’ use of inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder and mental health treatment services; explains the options for states to access federal Medicaid funds for enrollees receiving IMD services; analyzes current Section 1115 waiver activity; and draws on interviews with policymakers using IMD waivers in Vermont, Virginia, and San Diego County to examine successes and challenges

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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.