Wis­con­sin soft­ens some pro­vi­sions of Med­i­caid waiver

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Vir­gil Dick­son

Fol­low­ing sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic back­lash, Wis­con­sin pol­i­cy­mak­ers have re­vised a con­tro­ver­sial waiver re­quir­ing Med­i­caid mem­bers to pay pre­mi­ums and un­dergo drug screen­ing to par­tic­i­pate.

The Wis­con­sin Depart­ment of Health Ser­vices sub­mit­ted its waiver ap­pli­ca­tion last Wed­nes­day to the CMS af­ter in­cor­po­rat­ing feed­back from more than 1,000 com­ments on the orig­i­nal pro­posal.

Orig­i­nally, the state out­lined a slid­ing scale where peo­ple be­tween 20% and 100% of fed­eral poverty level would pay be­tween $1 and $10 a month. It scrapped those plans and is now propos­ing no one be­low 51% of the poverty line will be re­quired to pay any pre­mium. Those above that level will pay $8 a month.

The state also soft­ened its plan to charge Med­i­caid mem­bers who visit the emer­gency room an $8 co­pay for the first visit and a $25 co­pay for sub­se­quent vis­its over a one-year pe­riod.

Once the CMS posts the waiver on its web­site, it will un­dergo a 30-day com­ment pe­riod.

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