Capitol Correspondence - 04.03.17

Medicaid Reform Proposals Include Cost Sharing, Work Requirements

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On March 29, Bloomberg BNA posted an article discussing what’s next for Medicaid, including using Section 1115 demonstrations to make changes including cost sharing and work requirements. Since the American Health Care Act (AHCA) failed to get the votes needed to pass, changes to federal law impacting Medicaid are in a state of limbo, leaving an opening for states to implement changes on their own. Tom Price, the newly-appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) has broad authority to make certain programmatic changes, and has indicated that he plans to enact policy that will permit states more flexibility. 
Price as well as newly-appointed CMS Administrator Seema Verma have also expressed support for using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), cost-sharing, and work requirements as a way of managing costs and fostering personal responsibility for Medicaid beneficiaries. Using 1115 demonstrations would allow for a streamlined approach by states to make changes to their programs.