Health Care Policy Report™ offers the inside story on health care regulation and policy, with behind-the-scenes news and analysis of developments in Congress, the federal agencies, and the...
March 14 --The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) March 14 recommended that Congress allow states to provide low-income adults with 12 months of continuous eligibility for Medicaid and take steps to better align coverage options for low-income pregnant women.
Both recommendations in the semiannual report from MACPAC, a congressional advisory commission, are aimed at addressing issues arising from increased coverage available in 2014 as a result of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion and the launch of state and federal insurance marketplaces.
The recommendations were in MACPAC's statutorily required March report to Congress.
“Assuring a stable source of health care coverage over the course of a year is essential to connecting people to the care they need,” MACPAC Chair Diane Rowland said in a statement.
Providing adults a year of continuous Medicaid eligibility would help reduce so-called churning between health programs when an enrollee's income changes, the commission said.
It cited research showing that 23 percent of Medicaid-eligible enrollees would have an increase in income, making them ineligible for Medicaid within four months of joining the program. Of those, about a third (34 percent) would see their income drop back to lower levels, making them eligible for Medicaid again by the end of the year.
To promote coverage continuity, the commission reaffirmed a recommendation in its March 2013 report that Congress extend a statutory option for states to provide 12 months of continuous eligibility for adults in Medicaid, parallel to the current state option for children in Medicaid.
The report noted that the ACA expands Medicaid coverage to previously uninsured women with income up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) in states expanding Medicaid.
In addition, uninsured women with income above 100 percent of the FPL are eligible for subsidized coverage, which includes maternity care, on the state or federal insurance marketplaces.
Under current law, all states are required to provide certain health services to pregnant women at or below 138 percent of the FPL, the report noted. However, states aren't required to provide full Medicaid coverage and may limit services to those related to pregnancy.
In addition, subsidized coverage available on state or federal health insurance marketplaces to women with income between 100 percent and 400 percent of the FPL includes both maternity and nonmaternity benefits.
“This means that higher-income pregnant women with such coverage may receive a broader benefit package [on the marketplaces] than lower-income pregnant women with Medicaid coverage,” the report noted.
The commission recommended that Congress require states to provide the same benefits to pregnant women who are eligible for Medicaid (on the basis of their pregnancy) that are furnished to women whose Medicaid eligibility is based on their status as parents of a dependent child. It also recommended that women enrolled in qualified health plans on a state or federal marketplace be allowed to retain their coverage, even if their pregnancy makes them eligible for Medicaid.
The report also updated data, called MACStats, including state-specific information about enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); spending; eligibility levels; benefits covered; and federal matching rates.
The updated MACStats said:
• Total Medicaid spending grew by about 6 percent in fiscal year 2013, to $460 billion.
• Total CHIP spending grew by about 8 percent, to $13 billion.
• The number of individuals covered by Medicaid at some point during the year remained steady at an estimated 72.7 million in FY 2013, compared with 72.2 million in FY 2012.
• CHIP enrollment also remained steady at 8.4 million in FY 2013.
• The Medicaid and CHIP programs accounted for 15.4 percent of national health expenditures in calendar year 2012, and their share is projected to reach about 17 percent in the next decade.
The commission's next report to Congress is due in June.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ralph Lindeman in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nancy Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org
The MACPAC report is at http://op.bna.com/hl.nsf/r?Open=bbrk-9h7q52.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)