Senate Finance Committee leaders warned that a proposed CMS rule would increase Medicaid copayments by more than federal law allows, and they called on the department to alter the formula it uses to determine how much enrollees pay out of pocket.
In a letter, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) urged HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt to use a more consistent pay formula so Medicaid rates stay consistent for the low-income families and individuals who rely on its coverage regardless of if they are in managed-care or fee-for-service settings. The way CMS has set this formula works to the disadvantage of beneficiaries, Grassley said. It wasnt necessary for CMS to do it this way. These copayments should be applied consistently with other federal programs.
While HHS proposed rule would only increase payments by pennies in the short run, over time the formula would make copayments increasingly burdensome for beneficiaries, according to the letter. -- by Matthew DoBias