When the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Medicaid “continuous coverage” requirement is discontinued states will restart eligibility redeterminations, and millions of Medicaid enrollees will be at risk of losing their coverage. A lack of publicly available data on Medicaid enrollment, renewal, and disenrollment makes it difficult to understand exactly who is losing Medicaid coverage and for what reasons. Publishing timely data in an easy-to-digest, visually appealing way would help improve the transparency, accountability, and equity of the Medicaid program. This expert perspective lays out a set of priority measures that states can incorporate over time into a data dashboard to track Medicaid enrollment following the end of the continuous coverage requirement. For a detailed discussion of the current status of Medicaid enrollment and retention data collection and best practices when developing a data dashboard to display this type of information, SHVS has published a companion issue brief.
Assessing Enhanced Federal Funding for HCBS Under the American Rescue Plan
Stephanie Anthony and Alixandra Gould, Manatt Health
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law, enacting a sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. The legislation includes a number of provisions that will significantly impact state and federal health care policies and programs, including Section 9817, which provides enhanced federal funding for state Medicaid spending on home- and community-based services (HCBS). Beginning April 1, 2021 and through March 31, 2022, states are eligible to receive a 10 percentage point increase in their federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP)—the share of state Medicaid spending that is paid for by the federal government—for specified HCBS. On May 13, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance on implementing Section 9817 of ARP. The guidance also addresses many of the outstanding questions not addressed by the legislation. This updated brief describes ARP’s HCBS enhanced FMAP provision, CMS’s recent implementation guidance, and considerations and next steps for state policymakers.