CMS announced on July 13 that it has not imposed a deadline on states to determine whether to expand their Medicaid programs. The Supreme Court recently ruled that states are not required to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the Medicaid program, which expands eligibility to people with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. In response to a letter from 10 Republican governors, CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner responded that “there will be no deadline for a state to tell [the Department of Health and Human Services] its plans on the Medicaid eligibility expansion.” In addition, states that do not expand Medicaid or establish a health insurance exchange will not have to pay back any federal funding that it has received already.
In related news, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) is concerned that up to 30 states may decline to expand Medicaid. The NAPH President and CEO, Bruce Siegel, said that up to 13 million people would remain uninsured if 30 states, including the 26 that filed suit against the federal government to challenge the ACA and the Medicaid expansion, do not expand Medicaid. NAPH is concerned that hospitals will not be able to provide services if states do not expand Medicaid, particularly in light of the ACA’s reduction in Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments.
Source: www.polsinelli.com; Polsinelli Shughart PC; July 18, 2012.