Amenable to Premium Assistance, but not Partial Medicaid Expansion: How Flexible Will CMS Be?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued two major Q & As regarding Medicaid expansion. In December 2012, CMS stated that it would not entertain a partial expansion less than 133% of the federal poverty level. This month, it stated that it would consider premium assistance models as an alternate to Medicaid expansion.
Given these two Q & As, CMS seems poised to accept qualifying premium assistance models, but will oppose any partial Medicaid expansion legislation emanating from the states.
Premium Assistance Models Progressing in States
The premium assistance alternative to Medicaid expansion scored a recent victory. On April 16 and 17, Arkansas passed a bill through both the Arkansas House and Senate supporting such an alternative. Currently, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice has found thirteen (13) states that are in some way interested in the premium assistance model. Seven of those states - Arkansas, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas - are either negotiating with the federal government or proposing bills on premium assistance, while the other six states - Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma - are otherwise considering the model.