Missouri, Wyoming and Mississippi have enacted laws to scrutinize whether Medicaid or food stamp recipients are eligible, and several other states are considering such measures. News outlets also report on Medicaid news from Oregon, Iowa, Indiana and Kansas.
What Happens When States Go Hunting For Welfare Fraud
Now, faced with growing Medicaid enrollment and tight budgets, Republican lawmakers in several … states are taking … steps to ensure that people receiving welfare benefits are eligible for them. Under their proposals, which are modeled on legislation drafted by a national conservative group, recipients would face tougher and more frequent eligibility checks. And the checks could be conducted by private contractors who are motivated to justify their hiring by knocking as many people as possible off the rolls. (Fifield, 5/23)
Health Authority Estimates 32,000 Medicaid Recipients Could Be Ineligible
Oregon Health Authority officials told a legislative committee Tuesday that the agency might have provided Medicaid benefits to some 32,000 people who no longer qualified for them. If historical trends hold true, as the state processes a backlog of 115,000 Medicaid renewals, 28 percent of them could be deemed ineligible because they make too much money. But Lynne Saxton, director of the health authority, flatly rejected the idea that the lingering questions about the state’s Medicaid rolls poses a financial risk for the state. The questions come just as state lawmakers consider a new tax on health care providers. At the federal level, the Trump administration continues to push for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the sweeping Medicaid changes that came with it. (Manning, 5/23)
Des Moines Register:
Privatized Medicaid Appears To Be Saving Iowa Money. But Is It Real?
Iowa will spend $600 less on each Medicaid recipient this year compared with before private companies were hired to manage the program, according to a projection from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency. … The data does not account for millions of dollars in losses the private companies hired to manage the program have accrued in the current fiscal year, losses Iowa has agreed to at least partially repay in 2018. Those losses won’t show up in the current year’s budget. (Clayworth, 5/23)
Indiana Medicaid Director Moser Steps Down
Joe Moser, a key architect of Indiana’s alternative Medicaid expansion program has stepped down from his role as the state’s Medicaid director. Moser was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Pence in 2013 and oversaw the care of more than 1.5 million Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollees. Moser told Modern Healthcare he has no plans to work with the Trump administration, but would be open to that possibility. He decided to leave Indiana’s Medicaid agency in order to pursue new opportunities. (Dickson, 5/23)
Kansas City Star:
Federal Officials Accept Plan To Fix Kansas Medicaid Program
Federal officials have accepted a corrective action plan for Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program, an important hurdle in ensuring the program can continue to operate next year. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had rejected the state’s request to extend its KanCare program through 2018 in January after finding that the program was “substantively out of compliance” with federal regulations. (Lowry, 5/23)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.