While the focus of debate regarding repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been on Marketplaces and the Medicaid expansion, myriad other provisions of the ACA are at risk of repeal—including those that streamline Medicaid eligibility and enrollment systems and implement a national, simplified standard for income eligibility. As of January 2016, 37 states are able to complete an eligibility determination in real time, defined as less than 24 hours, and among these, 11 states report that at least half of their applicants receive an eligibility determination in real time. The future of the ACA’s streamlined eligibility and enrollment-related provisions and the system improvements states have invested in to implement them are the subject of this issue brief.
Because Medicaid is the single largest payer in every state, governors are using Medicaid to drive multi-payer reforms, including adoption of value-based payment methodologies and advancement of population health models. Proposals being considered by Congress and the new administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion and implement limits on federal Medicaid funding through block grants and per capita caps could have a significant impact on these advances. This issue brief, developed by Manatt Health, considers how much states have accomplished to drive value in and through their Medicaid programs over the last 50 years, and most especially over the last five years, and what states stand to lose in terms of progress and innovation in their Medicaid programs and health care delivery systems if federal support for Medicaid is reduced.
Data Points to Consider When Assessing Proposals to Cap Federal Medicaid Funding: A Toolkit for States
Key leaders in Congress and high-ranking members of the Trump Administration are proposing major changes to Medicaid financing through the adoption of a block grant or per capita caps. To assist states in assessing the potential implications of proposals to cap federal Medicaid funding, the State Network team at Manatt Health has developed a toolkit providing state-by-state data on Medicaid enrollment and expenditure trends—factors that are central to establishing the amount each state would be allocated under various capped funding proposals.
Despite improvements that have been made over the past several decades, lead poisoning remains a serious hazard for many children in the U.S., presenting significant risks to their health and learning. More than 4 million families with children live in homes with high levels of lead, and approximately half a million under the age of five require treatment. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can provide critical financial support to states as they seek to implement cost-effective lead abatement activities to protect children.
Section 1115 waivers allow states to waive certain Medicaid statutory requirements in order to advance state policy priorities and test innovations in their Medicaid programs, provided that they are budget neutral and “further the goals of the Medicaid program.” Since 2014, seven states have used 1115 waivers to implement alternative Medicaid expansions, and these waivers are likely to be leveraged by states in the next four years to advance changes to Medicaid. This issue brief, developed by Manatt Health, provides an overview of the features of these alternative Medicaid expansion waivers.
Shared Measurement and Joint Accountability Across Health Care and Non-Health Care Sectors: State Opportunities to Address Population Health Goals
Health care leaders are well-positioned to use cross-sector approaches to drive improvements in population health in collaboration with state leaders. Through the use of joint measurement and accountability tools, policymakers can help to improve health outcomes to an extent not possible through isolated, medical-centric efforts. This issue brief, developed by Dana Hargunani, MD, MPH, outlines how state agencies can use shared measurement and joint accountability across sectors as tools for improving population health outcomes.
Proposals for the incoming Congress and presidential administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have also included a call for a fundamental overhaul of the Medicaid program by imposing caps on federal funding to states. Such capped funding would replace the central feature of Medicaid’s financing structure, the federal government’s legal obligation to share all allowable state Medicaid costs. While the design of various proposals to cap federal Medicaid funding may differ in several ways, they all aim to allow the federal government to achieve budget certainty and reduce federal Medicaid spending.
Medicaid expansion has generated significant savings and new revenues for states, which they have used to finance spending priorities and to offset state Medicaid costs. States that have expanded Medicaid received over $60 billion in federal funds in 2015 and covered approximately 11 million newly eligible people. This tool, developed by Manatt Health, is designed to help states document the impacts of Medicaid expansion on state budgets, including revenue generation and reductions to state general fund spending on Medicaid and other health related programs and services. This tool can be used to demonstrate the impact of expansion as the incoming administration and the new Congress develop proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), potentially including the Medicaid expansion.
As we approach the beginning of a new presidential administration, there has been continued debate regarding the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), much of which has focused on the marketplaces, the mandate, and health insurance reforms such as the ban on insurers’ blocking coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. A potential elimination of the law’s Medicaid expansion to low-income adults and other ACA Medicaid provisions, however, would have far-reaching implications for states and the Medicaid program.
Social factors, including economic stability, housing, education, relationships, neighborhood, and other environmental influences, can have a significant impact on individuals’ health status. In order to make improvements to the health of both individuals and their communities, an integrated approach is critical. Policymakers need to bridge the gap between social services and health care delivery in their efforts to make these improvements, and several states have begun to develop innovative approaches toward this integration, which might provide valuable lessons for others.