Joel White spoke with Amy Lotven at Inside Health Policy about how Congress will address Medicaid in its end-of-the-year legislation package.
Last week, Joel White, president and founder of Horizon Government Affairs, said he fully expects Congress will address the Medicaid unwinding legislatively in the lame duck. Estimates have shown from 6 million to 20 million people could lose coverage once the redetermination starts, some of whom may still be eligible for coverage but disenrolled because they could not be reached by the Medicaid agency.
States need accurate contact information for the process to work well, White said, but that data can be hard to come by.
He also noted that CMS is being as flexible as possible to prevent coverage disruptions, including by giving health plans flexibility to contact Medicaid beneficiaries who are at risk of losing coverage.
Still, he expects that Congress will include in the year-end bill policies that address potential coverage gaps that stem from the redetermination process. Whether it will be a maintenance-of-effort requirement or some other flexibility to ensure that the unwinding works out is unclear, as is the possibility of phasing down the 6.2% FMAP increase, White said during a post-election webinar on Thursday (Nov. 10).
Like other stakeholders, White pointed out that the CBO’s assumption that the PHE will last until the summer means Congress could de-link the MOE from the actual emergency’s end and use savings to fund new policies.