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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions are used to provide additional information and/or statutory guidance not found in State Medicaid Director Letters, State Health Official Letters, or CMCS Informational Bulletins. The different sets of FAQs as originally released can be accessed below.Frequently Asked Questions are used to provide additional information and/or statutory guidance not found in State Medicaid Director Letters, State Health Official Letters, or CMCS Informational Bulletins. The different sets of FAQs as originally released can be accessed below.

FAQ Library

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How does section 2001(a)(5)(B) of the Affordable Care Act impact states currently covering children 6-18 up to 133 percent of the FPL under a separate CHIP?

Section 2001(a)(5)(B) of the Affordable Care Act (implemented through regulations for the Medicaid program at section 435.118) increased the minimum income limit applicable to Medicaid eligibility for the mandatory group for poverty-level related children aged 6-18 from 100 to 133 percent of the FPL under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VII) of the Act. Therefore, if a state is currently covering uninsured children up to 133 percent of the FPL under a separate CHIP, these children must be transitioned to the Medicaid state plan under this children's group effective January 1, 2014. CMS is available to work with states individually on their transition plans for this population.

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FAQ ID:92606

Are these children who are being transferred from CHIP to the Medicaid state plan considered optional targeted low-income children under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XIV) of the Act?

No. For the purposes of eligibility, these children are considered a mandatory Medicaid group for poverty-level related children under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VII) of the Act. As described below, states will continue to receive the CHIP matching rate for this population.

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FAQ ID:92611

Will new applicants/children ages 6-18 with incomes between 100 and 133 percent of the FPL with other health insurance qualify for coverage under the Medicaid state plan?

Yes. Under the Medicaid mandatory group for poverty-level related children under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VII) of the Act, insured children must be covered in addition to uninsured children (please also see applicable match rate questions below). This is different from the rules governing a separate CHIP program, which preclude coverage for insured children.

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FAQ ID:92616

Does 2001(a)(5)(B) of the Affordable Care Act impact children eligible in a separate or Medicaid expansion that are currently covered at income levels above 133 percent of the FPL?

No. States continue to have the option to cover children above 133 percent of the FPL either under a Medicaid expansion or separate program. States must maintain CHIP "eligibility standards, methodologies, and procedures" for children that are no more restrictive than those in effect on March 23, 2010 as specified under the "maintenance of effort" provision at 2105(d)(3) of the Act. A parallel requirement in Medicaid can be found at sections 1902(a)(74) and 1902(gg) of the Act. These provisions are effective through September 30, 2019.

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FAQ ID:92621

Will states continue to receive the CHIP enhanced FMAP for children currently enrolled in a separate CHIP up to 133 percent of the FPL after the transition to coverage of these children under the Medicaid mandatory group for poverty-level related children?

Yes. The CHIP enhanced FMAP will continue to be available for children whose income is greater than the Medicaid applicable income level (defined in section 457.301 and based on the 1997 Medicaid income standard for children) after these children transition to Medicaid. This includes children who previously qualified for CHIP in a separate program and uninsured children whose family incomes are up to 133 percent of the Federal poverty level, and therefore will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014. Regular Medicaid matching rates will apply for all other children covered under the mandatory group for children aged 6-18-children with income no more than 100 percent FPL and insured children with income above 100 percent to 133 percent FPL.

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FAQ ID:92626

Will a Medicaid and/or CHIP SPA be necessary for States that are transitioning children from a separate CHIP to the Medicaid state plan under the mandatory group for poverty-level related children under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VII) of the Act?

Yes. States that are transitioning children from a separate CHIP to the Medicaid state plan under the mandatory group for poverty-level related children under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VII) of the Act (which will be part of the newly consolidated mandatory group for children at 42 CFR 435.118), will need to submit both a Medicaid and CHIP SPA. The Medicaid SPA will need to be approved prior to, or simultaneously with, the CHIP SPA.

In addition, states that currently cover uninsured children aged 6-18 with income above 100 percent to 133 percent FPL under the Medicaid eligibility group for optional targeted lowincome children at section 1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XIV) of the Act (42 CFR 435.229) will need a Medicaid SPA to transition these children to the mandatory group for poverty-level related children under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VII) of the Act under the mandatory children's consolidated group at 42 CFR 435.118 and must expand their coverage to include insured children.

The SPA templates are available at http://www.medicaid.gov/State-Resource-Center/Medicaidand-CHIP-Program-Portal/Medicaid-and-CHIP-Program-Portal.html and CMS is available to provide technical assistance to states as they work through this transition.

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FAQ ID:92631

What are the key considerations for states preparing for this transition from CHIP to Medicaid?

In order to ensure a smooth transition of children from a separate CHIP to Medicaid state plan coverage, we encourage states to consider the following points as they prepare for this transition. CMS will work with states on these issues as part of the CHIP SPA review process:

  • Proper and timely notification to families, including detailed information on changes related to managed care plans, providers, benefits and cost sharing and what families can expect and need to do in preparation for the transition.
  • Education and notification to key stakeholders, including providers, managed care plans, and carve outs, such as mental health or dental services.
  • Establishment of a help line to address questions from families during the transition.
  • Continuity of care for children in treatment, such as the transfer of prior authorization requests from CHIP to Medicaid providers.

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FAQ ID:92636

Are states permitted to continue to cover children protected by section 2101(f) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Medicaid?

Yes. While coverage of children protected by 2101(f) is mandated through a separate CHIP, states may instead continue to provide coverage of these children in the state's Medicaid program, thereby eliminating the need to provide coverage in a separate CHIP in accordance with section 2101(f).

If a state chooses this option, children in the state would not lose Medicaid eligibility due to the elimination of disregards under the new "modified adjusted gross income" (MAGI) based methodologies. A Medicaid SPA could cover such children as an optional reasonable classification of children under 42 CFR section 435.222, with a disregard of all income (so that there would be no required determination of income).

The state will need to accurately identify the population of children who otherwise would lose Medicaid eligibility effective January 1, 2014 due to the elimination of income disregards as the new optional reasonable classification of children covered under this group. Children covered under this classification would remain categorically eligible based on their enrollment in Medicaid on December 31, 2013.

In order to limit the protection afforded under this strategy to the same timeframe as the protection which otherwise would be afforded to each affected child under a separate CHIP, the state may define this group as "children who would lose Medicaid eligibility on the initial redetermination of income using MAGI-based income determination due to the elimination of income disregards." The classification would thus not include individuals whose income is being redetermined after that time. This would be parallel to the treatment of this population in a separate CHIP, as automatically eligible in CHIP only when initially losing Medicaid eligibility.

For SPA page S52 for optional reasonable classifications of children that will be submitted for Medicaid state plan eligibility in 2014, the state should enter information for this new reasonable classification of children, just like it will enter information for any other reasonable classification covered by the state. The state would define this reasonable classification using the approved state plan language and would enter that no income test is used for this classification because there was no income test (i.e., all income was disregarded) in 2013.

In addition, once the Medicaid SPA has been approved, interested states should also submit a CHIP SPA (CS14) and check the first option indicating that: "The state has received approval from CMS to maintain Medicaid eligibility for children who would otherwise be subject to Section 2101(f) such that no child in the state will be subject to this provision."

A state interested in covering children protected by section 2101(f) of the ACA should indicate its interest to CMS on its next State Operations and Technical Assistance (SOTA) call.

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FAQ ID:92641

What is the objective of section 2101(f) of the Affordable Care Act?

Section 2101(f) of the Affordable Care Act (implemented through regulations for the CHIP program at 42 CFR section 457.310) provides that states maintain coverage under a separate CHIP for children who lose Medicaid eligibility (including eligibility under a Medicaid expansion or M-CHIP program) due to the elimination of disregards under the new "modified adjusted gross income" (MAGI) based methodologies, which will be effective on January 1, 2014. This provision was intended to create a mechanism to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of coverage for children as the new income counting rules take effect.

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FAQ ID:93761

What are the disregards that are referenced by section 2101(f) of the ACA?

Income and expense disregards, including block disregards, that were used to calculate children's income eligibility under the state's Medicaid program prior to January 1, 2014 must be considered in implementing this provision.

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FAQ ID:93766

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