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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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Many State demonstrations require that a transition plan to 2014 be submitted by a specified date, in many cases by July 1, 2012. Will CMS provide guidance and technical assistance before then? What specifically is required to be included in the transition plan?

CMS plans to provide technical assistance on transition plans to States through the State Operations and Technical Assistance Team (SOTA) calls and through other calls with the State. We will also be providing additional guidance about the information that should be included in the transition plans. We will consider the transition plans that need to be submitted by the due date as living documents that are open to revision, and will continue to work with States to ensure a seamless transition in 2014 for beneficiaries and States.

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FAQ ID:93021

Will CMS approve enrollment caps or periods of ineligibility in section 1115 demonstrations?

The Affordable Care Act provides significant federal support to ensure the availability of coverage to low-income adults. Enrollment caps limit enrollment in coverage on a first come, first serve basis. Periods of ineligibility delay or deny coverage for otherwise eligible individuals. These policies do not further the objectives of the Medicaid program, which is the statutory requirement for allowing section 1115 demonstrations. As such, we do not anticipate that we would authorize enrollment caps or similar policies through section 1115 demonstrations for the new adult group or similar populations.

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FAQ ID:93751

Can states that extend eligibility for adults and propose, through a section 1115 demonstration, changes to the delivery of health care services still be eligible for the increased federal match?

Demonstrations focused on changes to how health care services are delivered, such as the use of managed care, will not generally affect the state's matching rate. Please refer to our February 2013 FAQs (PDF, 135.35 KB), which provide further clarification on the two increased federal match rates: the newly eligible rate and the expansion state rate as well as the final FMAP rule published on April 2, 2013. Additionally, CMS issued two State Medicaid Director letters, on July 10, 2012, that provide guidance on how states can adopt integrated care models without the need for a section 1115 demonstration.

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FAQ ID:93756

What specific plans and timeline do you have for enacting the reforms and flexibility options for Medicaid that you spoke of in 2009? When can states give further input on the needed reforms?

CMS continues to work closely with states to provide options and tools that make it easier for states to make changes in their Medicaid programs to improve care and lower costs. In the last six months, we have released guidance giving states flexibility in structuring payments to better incentivize higher-quality and lower-cost care, provided enhanced matching funds for health home care coordination services for those with chronic illnesses, designed new templates to make it easier to submit section 1115 demonstrations and to make it easier for a state to adopt selective contracting in the program, and developed a detailed tool to help support states interested in extending managed care arrangements to long term services and supports. We have also established six learning collaboratives with states to consider together improvements in data analytics, value-based purchasing and other topics of key concern to states and stakeholders, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has released several new initiatives to test new models of care relating to Medicaid populations. Information about these and many other initiatives are available on Medicaid.gov. We welcome continued input and ideas from states and others. States can implement delivery system and payment reforms in their programs whether or not they adopt the low-income adult expansion. With respect to the expansion group in particular, states have considerable flexibility regarding coverage for these individuals. For example, states can choose a benefit package benchmarked to a commercial package or design an equivalent package. States also have significant cost-sharing flexibility for individuals above 100% of the federal poverty level, and we intend to propose other cost-sharing changes that will modernize and update our rules.

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FAQ ID:94606

Will the federal government support options for the Medicaid expansion population that encourage personal responsibility?

Yes, depending on its design. We are interested in working with states to promote better health and health care at lower costs and have been supporting, under a demonstration established by the Affordable Care Act, state initiatives that are specifically aimed at promoting healthy behaviors. Promoting better health and healthier behaviors is a matter of importance to the health care system generally, and state Medicaid programs, like other payers, can shape their benefit design to encourage such behaviors while ensuring that the lowest income Americans have access to affordable quality care. We invite states to continue to come to us with their ideas, including those that promote value and individual ownership in health care decisions as well as accountability tied to improvement in health outcomes. We note in particular that states have considerable flexibility under the law to design benefits for the new adult group and to impose cost-sharing, particularly for those individuals above 100% of the federal poverty level, to accomplish these objectives, including Secretary-approved benchmark coverage.

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FAQ ID:94611

Will CMS approve global waivers with an aggregate allotment, state flexibility, and accountability if states are willing to initiate a portion of the expansion?

Consistent with the guidance provided above with respect to demonstrations available under the regular and the enhanced matching rates, CMS will work with states on their proposals and review them consistent with the statutory standard of furthering the interests of the program.

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FAQ ID:94616

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