Michigan Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion at stake with new waiver re­quest

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Vir­gil Dick­son

Michigan has sub­mit­ted a take-it-or-leave-it re­quest to al­ter the terms of its Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion, and cov­er­age for about 600,000 res­i­dents is at stake.

Un­der the pro­posed waiver, res­i­dents above the fed­eral poverty level who have been en­rolled in Med­i­caid for 48 months would have to buy a pri­vate plan through HealthCare.gov or see their cost­shar­ing obli­ga­tions rise to 7% of their in­come. Un­der the cur­rent struc­ture, ben­e­fi­cia­ries with in­comes be­tween 100% and 138% of the fed­eral poverty level pay 3% to 5% of their in­come for premi­ums and cost-shar­ing.

The terms of the re­quest are dic­tated by the 2013 state law that al­lowed Michigan to ex­pand Med­i­caid un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act. The law stip­u­lated that the re­quest had to be sub­mit­ted by Sept. 1, 2015, and that the CMS must re­spond by De­cem­ber 2015. If the CMS re­jects the waiver, the state must ter­mi­nate its Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion pro­gram, dubbed Healthy Michigan.

Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion still has the sup­port of Repub­li­can Gov. Rick Sny­der. “This gover­nor doesn’t play po­lit­i­cal games,” said John Tr­us­cott, a GOP con­sul­tant and pres­i­dent of Tr­us­cott Ross­man public re­la­tions firm in Lans­ing, Mich. “This waiver re­quest rep­re­sents a very gen­uine ef­fort to con­tinue ex­pan­sion in the state.”

Gov. Rick Sny­der

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