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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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Both the State Medicaid Director Letter describing the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) section 1115 demonstration opportunity and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) SUD Implementation Plan template, reference needs assessment tools and program standards established by the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Is a state required to reference or rely on the ASAM Criteria in implementing an SUD section 1115 demonstration?

No, a state is not required to reference or rely on the ASAM Criteria however, states should use guidelines/patient placement tools that are comparable to ASAM criteria. The State Medicaid Director Letter describing the SUD section 1115 demonstration opportunity references the ASAM Criteria as a recognized standard and an example of a patient placement assessment tool that states could use. Participating states are expected to ensure that providers use an SUD-specific, multi-dimensional assessment tool in determining the types of treatments and level of care a beneficiary with an SUD may need. The ASAM Criteria is referenced as a representative example of such an assessment tool. 

Some states proposed alternative needs assessment tools. CMS reviews each alternative proposal on an individual basis, and CMS has so far determined that those alternatives are comparable to the ASAM Criteria and meet the expectations for this demonstration initiative. In addition, participating states are expected to implement provider qualifications for residential treatment providers that reflect well-established standards for these treatment settings. Again, the ASAM Criteria is referenced as an example of a resource that states may use for determining those standards.

FAQ ID:93681

Will there be any automatic updates coming through the Federal data services hub? Or will we always need to make a call to the Federal data services hub in order to get any information back? If a change is likely will the state need to send ongoing, frequent requests through the Federal data services hub?

Generally, information from the Federal data services hub will only be sent in direct response to a call from the requesting entity. However, in the case of verifications conducted by DHS, there can be up to three steps to a verification, the second and third of which will not be in real time. If the step 1 query fails, the Federal data services hub will automatically invoke step 2, and the response may take up to several days. If step 2 fails, the Federal data services hub will notify the requesting entity which will need to submit additional documentation from the applicant for step 3. The step 3 response can take weeks. During this time, the Federal data services hub will regularly poll DHS to see if the response has come back.

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FAQ ID:93316

What if I encounter an account that does not appear to fit into any of a state's eligibility coverage groups?

Applicants that indicate they have a disability, need long-term care or are over age 65 are always referred to the Medicaid agency for a determination on a non-MAGI basis, regardless of income and household composition, since the FFM is evaluating eligibility for MAGI-based eligibility groups only. Additionally, applicants may always request a full Medicaid determination at the end of the application process. In assessment states, the Medicaid agency will do a final determination of eligibility for these applicants, whereas in determination states, the Medicaid agency just needs to follow up for a non-MAGI determination. The expanded flat file will contain a specific indicator showing if the applicant requested a full determination.

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FAQ ID:92136

When will the Basic Health Program be operational?

Given the scope of the coverage changes that states and the federal government will be implementing on January 1, 2014, and the value of building on the experience that will be gained from those changes, HHS expects to issue proposed rules regarding the Basic Health Program for comment in 2013 and final guidance in 2014, so that the program will be operational beginning in 2015 for states interested in pursuing this option.

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FAQ ID:92141

What approaches are available to states that are interested in the Basic Health Program in the interim?

HHS is working with states that are interested in the concepts included in the Basic Health Program option to identify similar flexibilities to design coverage systems for 2014, such as continuity of coverage as individuals' income changes. Specifically, we have outlined options to states related to using Medicaid funds to purchase coverage through a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) on the Marketplace for Medicaid beneficiaries (PDF, 242.79 KB). Additionally, some states with current Medicaid adult coverage expansions are considering offering additional types of assistance with premiums to individuals who will be enrolled in QHPs through the Marketplace. HHS will review all such ideas.

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FAQ ID:92146

Do states need to track people enrolled in the adult group who become pregnant? If a woman indicates on the application she is pregnant, do states need to enroll her as a pregnant woman if she is otherwise eligible for the adult group? Would there be a need to track pregnancy if the benefits for both groups are the same?

If a woman indicates on an initial application that she is pregnant, she should be enrolled in Medicaid coverage as a pregnant woman, rather than in the new adult group. However, as stated in the preamble to the March 23, 2012 Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility & Enrollment final rule , states are not required to track the pregnancy status of women already enrolled through the new adult group. Women should be informed of the benefits afforded to pregnant women under the state's Medicaid program and if a woman becomes pregnant and requests a change in coverage category, the state must make the change if she is eligible.

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FAQ ID:92151

What are the expectations for states in implementing telephonic applications as required by the statute at section 1413(b)(1)(A) and regulations at 42 CFR 435.907?

The statute and regulations require that states provide individuals several channels through which they can apply for Medicaid and CHIP coverage - by mail, in person, on line and over the telephone. Following are some guiding principles for administering telephonic applications based on successful strategies many states have in place today.

  1. Accepting a Telephonic Application - States may develop their own processes for accepting and adjudicating telephonic applications. The process for accepting applications by phone must be designed to gather data into a sufficient format that will be accessible for account transfer to the appropriate insurance affordability program. For example, a customer service representative could verbally communicate application questions to the applicant, while electronically filling out the online version of the single streamlined application.
  2. Voice Signatures - All applications must be signed (under penalty of perjury) in order to complete an eligibility determination. In the case of telephonic applications, states must have a process in place to assist individuals in applying by phone and be able to accept telephonically recorded signatures at the time of application submission. If applicable, states can maintain their current practices of audio recording and accepting voice signatures as required for identity proofing.
  3. Records and Storage - Upon request, states must be able to provide individuals with a record of their completed application, including all information used to make the eligibility determination. As such, CMS recommends that states record all telephonic applications. This may be accomplished by taping the complete application transaction as an audio file, or by producing a written transcript of the application transaction, among other options. The length of storage of these records should comply with current regulations on application storage.
  4. Confirmations and Receipts - States should provide a confirmation receipt documenting the telephonic application to the applicant. Such confirmation should be provided upon submission of the application or at any time the applicant wishes to end the customer representative interaction. Confirmation receipts can be delivered via electronic or paper mail (based on the applicant's preference). Confirmation receipts must include key information for applicants, including but not limited to the application summary, the eligibility determination summary page, a copy of the attestations/rights and responsibilities and the submission date of the signed application.
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FAQ ID:92156

If a woman moves from the adult group under 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII) to the pregnant woman group, are states then required to move former pregnant women from the pregnant women eligibility group back to the adult group when the post-partum period ends?

If a woman is enrolled in a group for pregnant women, before the end of the post-partum period, as specified in the definition of "pregnant woman" at 42 CFR 435.4, the state Medicaid agency will need to re-evaluate the woman's eligibility for other groups, including the lowincome adult group and advance payment of premium tax credits through the Marketplace. Our regulations at 42 CFR 435.916 explain the requirements for states in connection with renewals of eligibility or determinations of ineligibility based on a change in circumstances. The procedures outlined in the regulation are intended to promote continuity of coverage.

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FAQ ID:92161

Are individuals who were in foster care and enrolled in Medicaid when they turned age 18 or aged out of foster care in a different state eligible under this group?

We do not believe the statue requires states to cover, under this group, individuals who were in foster care and enrolled in Medicaid when they turned age 18 or aged out of foster care in a different state. However, we believe the statute provides states the option to do so. As noted above, pending publication of a final regulation at section 435.150, states may exercise the option proposed when they complete SPA page S33 for this group.

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FAQ ID:92166

At state option, are states allowed to claim title XIX funding instead of title XXI for services provided under a Medicaid expansion program?

Yes. Section 115 of CHIPRA gives states the option to claim expenditures for Medicaid expansion program populations under section 1905(u)(2)(B) of the Act, either at the enhanced FMAP rate using title XXI funds or at the regular FMAP rate using title XIX funds. States that elect to claim expenditures under title XXI will receive the enhanced FMAP rate. However, states that elect to claim expenditures under title XIX will receive the regular Medicaid FMAP rate. Claims submitted at the enhanced FMAP rate will be paid from the state's CHIP allotment.

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FAQ ID:92171

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