Several Republican-led states are including expanded Medicaid coverage in their state budgets, according to a report by NPR. These include both Indiana, where Vice President Pence expanded Medicare when he was governor, and Ohio, where Governor John Kasich has included sustained Medicare expansion within his state budget proposal, which was announced on January 30, 2017.
In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb, who assumed office on January 9th, 2017, applied for a federal Medicaid waiver that would extend coverage until January 1, 2021. Without federal approval, funding for Indiana’s Healthy Indiana plan will cease in January 2018.
The article quoted Holcomb’s statement: “Indiana has built a program that is delivering real results in a responsible, efficient, and effective way. I look forward to maintaining the flexibility to grow this remarkably successful tool and to preserve our ability to respond to the unique needs of Hoosiers.”
In addition to filling for a waiver for current services, Indiana also hopes to expand coverage for substance abuse treatment and support preventative services that help individuals quit smoking, manage chronic disease, and even train for jobs.
Ohio, Kentucky, and other states are considering plans similar to Indiana’s.
The unanswered question, however, is what happens if federal funding for Medicaid is discontinued through Congress’ efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; a conversation that ACS is monitoring closely.
Advocacy & Communication Solutions, LLC (ACS) has worked on Medicaid policy since its inception and has helped various organizations navigate health-related policy at the state and federal level. A long time client in this work is HMS, the nation’s leader in cost containment, program integrity, and coordination of benefits solutions for government-funded and commercial healthcare entities. HMS works with the state Medicaid agencies to help detect fraud as part of its contract to provide program integrity services. For several years, ACS has helped HMS identify and pursue growth opportunities for its business in Ohio. As a result of HMS’s work, clients like the State of Ohio are able to recover millions of dollars every year and save billions more through the prevention of erroneous payments. That’s a win-win for everyone! Learn more about how ACS works with clients like HMS here.