State Medicaid directors can now increase “premiums” charged to the parents of children enrolled in their Children's Health Insurance Programs, according to a letter sent to states by Cindy Mann, director of CMS' Center for Medicaid, CHIP, and Survey & Certification.
State Medicaid officials can up CHIP 'premiums'
That “clarification” changes previous guidance issued by federal healthcare officials related to changes states could enact to their Medicaid programs without endangering future federal Medicaid funding. Specifically, so-called maintenance-of-effort requirements were placed on all states after they accepted additional federal Medicaid funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The change came after “we have re-evaluated the part of our guidance that precluded customary incremental increases in premiums,” according to an attachment to the letter.
The letter also reiterated that states with a projected deficit can cut adult enrollees who are not eligible because of pregnancy or disability and whose incomes are more than 133% of the federal poverty level. Additionally, other beneficiaries included in Section 1115 demonstration projects authorized through waivers can be dropped from Medicaid rolls without penalty after the waiver expires.
The letter came as states continue to search for cost-saving measures in their Medicaid programs, which have become the single largest line item in many of their budgets. “We will continue to review the maintenance of effort provisions under the Affordable Care Act and will issue further guidance to States, as needed,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a written statement.
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