Noteworthy News

Sebelius to States: Don’t Slash Medicaid Eligibility

The Supreme Court decision that ruled the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion mandate only optional for states does not free states of the reform law’s other requirements – including its maintenance-of-effort requirement for Medicaid eligibility criteria, which does not expire until 2014.

This was the message Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius conveyed in a letter to the nation’s governors amid published reports that some states had already begun planning immediate cutbacks in Medicaid eligibility.

Sebelius also revealed that in states that choose not to expand Medicaid eligibility, the federal government is prepared to waive the mandatory health insurance mandate for some low-income families and individuals.

Urban safety-net hospitals will be watching their states’ next moves closely to see whether they intend to opt out of the reform law’s Medicaid expansion – a decision that could be very costly to those hospitals in the future.

Read more about the administration’s response to the possibility of states trimming Medicaid eligibility criteria before 2014 in this Kaiser Health News reportgavel that also includes a direct link to Secretary Sebelius’s letter to governors.

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