Expert Perspectives

Feb 24, 2023 

Secrets to a Successful Unwinding: Actions State-Based Marketplaces and Insurance Departments Can Take to Improve Coverage Transitions

The long-expected return to Medicaid eligibility re-determinations and renewals, referred to as the “Medicaid unwinding,” has begun. This expert perspective provides a checklist of actions state-based marketplaces and state insurance departments can take, if they haven’t already, to reduce gaps in coverage and minimize disruptions in care. Many are designed to be temporary, and will be critical to helping people navigate an unprecedented period of disruption. Other actions involve policies or operational improvements that could reap long-term benefits by mitigating risks inherent in Medicaid-Marketplace “churn.”

Feb 10, 2023 

CMS’ 2020 Rule on Medicaid ‘Continuous Coverage’ Is Blocked as to Additional Dual-Eligible Enrollees

This expert perspective summarizes a recent federal court ruling that impacted the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) enforcement of an interim final rule (IFR) that narrowed CMS’ interpretation of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). In November 2022, a federal court in Connecticut ruled in Carr v. Becerra that CMS had acted impermissibly by issuing the IRF in November 2020. On January 31, 2023, the court broadened its order to include all Medicaid enrollees nationwide who had experienced a reduction in Medicaid benefits due to the IFR. The expert perspective discusses potential implications for states and enrollees.

Feb 9, 2023 

Reporting Requirements Related to Unwinding Medicaid Continuous Coverage: Considerations for Medicaid and the Marketplace

As a result of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA), states can start refining and implementing long laid plans to restart eligibility redeterminations and return to routine eligibility and enrollment operations. As part of this process, states will be required to closely track and monitor the impacts of the resumption of eligibility redeterminations and disenrollments and to make that data public. This expert perspective outlines the relevant reporting requirements that were included in the CAA and the corresponding reporting guidance provided by CMS in its January 2023 State Health Official letter, and presents considerations for state officials.

Feb 3, 2023 

New CMS Guidance on Unwinding Provisions in the CAA, 2023

On January 27, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a State Health Official (SHO) letter, “Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Condition Changes, Conditions for Receiving the FFCRA Temporary FMAP Increase, Reporting Requirements, and Enforcement Provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023.” The SHO letter is the second in a series of guidance related to section 5131 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA), which established a fixed end date for the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement, a gradual phase-down for the enhanced federal match, and new guardrails for mitigating coverage loss for individuals who continue to be eligible. This expert perspective reviews the additional detail and operational expectations of states during the unwinding of Medicaid continuous coverage as laid out in the SHO letter.

Feb 1, 2023 

CMS Approves First-In-Nation Justice-Involved Reentry Section 1115 Demonstration

On January 26, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved California’s request to amend the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal Section 1115 demonstration. This expert perspective describes the amendment, a centerpiece of which is approval for California Medicaid to provide a targeted set of Medicaid services to youth and adults in state prisons, county jails, and youth correctional facilities for up to 90 days prior to release. By providing reentry services to Medicaid-enrolled individuals who are incarcerated, California aims to build a bridge to community-based care for justice-involved enrollees, offering them services to stabilize their physical and behavioral health conditions and establishing, prior to release, a reentry plan for their community-based care.

Jan 27, 2023 

Federal Ruling Provides Text Messaging Flexibility to Support State’s Unwinding Efforts

On January 23, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission issued an important ruling that provides states with new flexibility to support enrollee outreach and communication efforts as part of their processes to unwind the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. The ruling permits state agencies and their partners to send text messages and make phone calls to individuals about enrollment-related issues not only for Medicaid but for other state-run health insurance programs, including marketplace coverage. This expert perspective reviews the ruling and implications for states.