On Wednesday, August 22, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL) memorializing CMS policy for ensuring that Section 1115 waivers remain budget neutral to the federal government. The SMDL describes CMS policy for calculating budget neutrality both for new waivers and for extensions of existing waivers with the implications for states with existing waivers, and those seeking to apply for waivers, discussed in this expert perspective.
Public Charge and Implications for Medicaid Enrollment
On October 1, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies program hosted a webinar, facilitated by experts at Manatt Health on the long-anticipated proposed rule released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on September 22. The proposed rule seeks to change how DHS determines whether immigrants—when seeking admission to the U.S., an extension of their stay, or status change to become a legal permanent resident—are “likely at any time to become a public charge” (i.e., dependent on the government for financial support). Consequentially, being determined a “public charge” may put immigration status at risk. The webinar reviewed the proposed rule and its potential impacts on consumers, states and providers. Specifically, we highlighted the key ways the proposed rule departs from current guidance, with a particular focus on the implications for Medicaid and other health-related public benefits, and how the proposed rule may impact consumers’ access to certain benefits.