In recent months, states have increasingly introduced proposals for individuals above Medicaid eligibility levels to “buy-in” to Medicaid or leverage the Medicaid program to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. State Health and Value Strategies is tracking current state activity and has mapped out which states are pursuing a program and those that are establishing task forces to understand the impact of a Medicaid buy-in program.
States continue to identify and pursue strategies to further reduce the number of uninsured, to make coverage more affordable for consumers and to improve access to care. Several proposals have been introduced at both the federal and state levels that would permit people above Medicaid eligibility levels to “buy in” to Medicaid or would leverage the Medicaid program to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. This issue brief presents two possible models for a Medicaid buy-in program for states, and details the design considerations and authorities needed to implement each model.
The nation’s opioid epidemic claimed more than 42,000 lives in 2016, and more than 2 million people in the United States have an opioid use disorder (OUD)—with nearly another 10 million at risk due to misuse of these drugs. Yet, only 1 in 5 people suffering from an OUD receive treatment. Today, Medicaid covers more than 1 in 3 people with an OUD, and program spending for people with an OUD in 2013 (before Medicaid expansion in many states) was more than $9 billion. In this issue brief, data from three states—New Hampshire, Ohio and West Virginia—highlight Medicaid’s role as the linchpin in states’ efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.