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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

Showing 1 to 10 of 26 results

Will the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace apply Medicaid policies and verification procedures differently under the "assessment" and "determination" models?

In an assessment model, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace will not make a final Medicaid determination. Instead, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace will transmit the account to the Medicaid or CHIP agency when they have evaluated the individual and identified him or her as Medicaid or CHIP eligible, and the Medicaid or CHIP agency will make the formal determination. In a determination model, the Medicaid or CHIP agency delegate the authority to make determinations to the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace. In both an assessment and determination model, as described in more detail in 42 CFR section 435.1200, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace will utilize the same set of eligibility criteria, including selected state-specific options and standard verification procedures. If the state agency chooses the determination model, it must accept the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace determination as final. If the state chooses the assessment model, it must accept findings made by the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace relating to a criterion of eligibility, as long as the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace applies the same policies and verification procedures as those the state agency employs. In a state with a separate CHIP agency, the state Medicaid and CHIP agencies can make different choices allowing the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace to make an assessment or determination. States must choose either the assessment or determination model for all applications; they may not choose between models on a case-by-case basis. States will need to indicate their assessment or determination decision to CMS in a State Plan Amendment, as well as in the Memorandum of Agreement it signs with the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace.

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FAQ ID:93731

In an assessment model, an applicant may be assessed eligible by the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace and later receive a determination as ineligible by the state Medicaid/CHIP agency. Does the state Medicaid agency need to communicate the eligibility finding to the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace?

Yes. In an assessment model, where an applicant is assessed eligible by the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace and later found to be ineligible by the state Medicaid agency, the state must transfer the account to the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace. Once received, the state Medicaid determination will be accepted and the account will be assessed by the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace for enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) and eligibility for Advanced Premium Tax Credits/Cost Sharing Reductions.

For the determination model, as discussed in section 435.1200(c), as governed by the agreement signed between the Medicaid agency and the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace determines eligibility for individuals applying to the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace for Medicaid/CHIP based on MAGI, and the state Medicaid or CHIP agency agrees to accept eligibility findings made by the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace.

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FAQ ID:93736

In an assessment model, if an applicant applied via the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace and is found eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, how will the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace coordinate with the state Medicaid or CHIP agency regarding eligibility, enrollment, redeterminations, or renewals for Medicaid/CHIP?

For individuals assessed eligible for Medicaid/CHIP by the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace, their account will be transferred to the state Medicaid/CHIP agency for a final determination. Once enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP, regardless of where the initial application was submitted, all updates, redeterminations and renewals are handled by the enrolling entity (e.g., the state Medicaid/CHIP agency). No further coordination would be needed with the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace except when an individual is found ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP during the redetermination process. In this case, the state agency would transfer the individual's account to the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace to be assessed for enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) and eligibility for Advanced Premium Tax Credits /Cost Sharing Reductions. The Federally-Facilitated Marketplace will not handle redeterminations or renewals for Medicaid/CHIP and will refer individuals to the appropriate site in the state as appropriate.

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FAQ ID:93741

Will the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace integrate its enrollment file with the state's client registry so that data for households participating in both state programs and the Marketplace can be synchronized? Will the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace routinely check the Medicaid/CHIP enrollment files to determine any overlap between the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace and Medicaid/CHIP enrollment logs?

No. There will not be integration of the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace and states' client registries. Instead, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace will both verify current Medicaid/CHIP enrollment as part of the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace "applicant" application, and will also conduct quarterly checks of the Medicaid/CHIP enrollment files to determine any overlap with Federally-Facilitated Marketplace enrollment logs.

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FAQ ID:93746

Does HHS plan to further extend deadlines for states to decide on their level of involvement in implementing Exchanges?

No. As mentioned in the two letters that Secretary Sebelius sent to governors in November 2012, states have been and will continue to be partners in implementing the health care law and we are committed to providing states with the flexibility, resources and time they need to deliver the benefits of the health care law to the American people.

In response to various governors' requests for additional time, we extended the deadline for a Blueprint Application to operate a State-Based Exchange from November 16, 2012 to December 14, 2012. If a state is pursuing a State Partnership Exchange, we will accept Declaration Letters and Blueprint Applications and make approval determinations for State Partnership Exchanges on a rolling basis. A state that plans to operate the Exchange in its state in partnership with the federal government starting in 2014 will need to submit its Declaration Letter and Blueprint Application declaring what partnership role they would like to have by February 15, 2013.

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FAQ ID:94401

What federal funding is available to assist a state in creating and maintaining a State-Based Exchange? Will a state have to return federal funding if it decides not to implement a State-Based Exchange?

By law, states operating Exchanges in 2014 must ensure that their Exchanges are financially self-sustaining by January 1, 2015. The costs to states for establishing a State-Based Exchange and testing Exchange operations during 2014 may be funded by grants under section 1311(a). Additionally, grants under section 1311 may be awarded until December 31, 2014, for approved establishment activities that fund first year start-up activities (i.e., activities in 2014). It is also permissible that under a State Partnership Exchange, a state may receive grants for activities to establish and test functions that the state performs in support of a Federally-Facilitated Exchange. This applies whether or not a state is a State Partnership Exchange. Generally, states will not be required to repay funds, provided funds are used for activities approved in the grant and cooperative agreement awards.

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FAQ ID:94406

Will HHS charge fees to a state that utilizes federal data in connection with its State-Based Exchange?

No. HHS is establishing a federally-managed data services hub to support information exchanges between states (Exchanges, Medicaid and CHIP agencies) and relevant federal agencies. In many cases, federal agencies other than HHS will be providing information through the hub. As stated in previous guidance, no charge will be imposed on states for use of the hub, nor for the required data accessed there.

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FAQ ID:94411

What is the approval process for a state that would like to participate in a State Partnership Exchange?

To operate a State Partnership Exchange in 2014, a state must submit a declaration letter, complete the relevant portions of the Exchange Blueprint and be approved or conditionally approved by HHS for participation in a State Partnership Exchange. State Partnership Exchange approval standards mirror State-Based Exchange approval standards for plan management and the relevant consumer activities, where applicable, and include standards related to sharing data and coordinating processes between the state and a Federally-Facilitated Exchange. States have until February 15, 2013 to submit a declaration and Blueprint Application for approval as a State Partnership Exchange.

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FAQ ID:94421

How will HHS work with state policymakers to make sure that the Federally-Facilitated Exchange accounts for the needs of a particular state? How will the Federally-Facilitated Exchange for each state ensure that it accurately incorporates state-specific laws and procedures into its business processes?

To the greatest extent possible, HHS intends to work with states to preserve the traditional responsibilities of state insurance departments when establishing a Federally-Facilitated Exchange for a particular state. Additionally, HHS will seek to harmonize Exchange policy with existing state programs and laws wherever possible.

For example, qualified health plans that will be offered in a Federally-Facilitated Exchange must be offered by issuers that meet state licensure and solvency requirements and are in good standing in the state (section 1301(a)(1)(C) of the Affordable Care Act; 45 C.F.R. section 156.200(b)(4)). In addition, qualified health plans will be subject to requirements that apply to all individual and small group market products such as the proposed market rules. Accordingly, states continue to maintain an important responsibility with respect to qualified health plans licensed and offered in their states, regardless of whether the Exchange is Federally-Facilitated or State-Based.

HHS is currently working to determine the extent to which activities conducted by state insurance departments such as the review of rates and policy forms could be recognized as part of the certification of qualified health plans by a Federally-Facilitated Exchange. For example, most states currently have an effective rate review program in place and HHS will rely on such processes in connection with qualified health plan certification decisions and oversight by a Federally-Facilitated Exchange. HHS will work with regulators in each state with a Federally-Facilitated Exchange to identity these efficiencies.

HHS is working with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to enable states to use the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing as part of the qualified health plan submission and certification process in a State Partnership Exchange. This will help ensure that state and federal regulators are using the same data for their reviews and simplify issuer compliance responsibilities.

HHS also will collect state-specific Medicaid and CHIP policy data so that the Federally-Facilitated Exchange is able to evaluate Medicaid and CHIP eligibility.

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FAQ ID:94426

Will Federally-Facilitated Exchange customer support personnel be familiar with state rules so that they can advise consumers adequately?

Yes. HHS will operate the Federally-Facilitated and State Partnership Exchange call center and website, and personnel will be trained on relevant state insurance laws and Medicaid and CHIP eligibility standards so that they can advise consumers. In a state operating in a State Partnership Exchange, a state will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Exchange Navigators and the development and management of another separate in-person assistance program, and may elect to conduct additional outreach and educational activities. The Affordable Care Act directs Navigators to conduct public education to target Exchange-eligible populations, assist qualified consumers in a fair and impartial manner with the selection of qualified health plans and distribute information on tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, and refer consumers to any consumer assistance or ombudsman programs that may exist in the state. Navigators must provide this information in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate and accessible by persons with disabilities.

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FAQ ID:94436

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