August 2020 Medicaid Changes

Parallon’s eligibility and advocacy team continues to monitor the ‘new norm’ of Medicaid eligibility as state and Medicaid employees have familiarized their routine of working from home in addition to new changes allowing for signatures and more virtual processes.

High-level, Missouri approved Medicaid Expansion, Georgia Medicaid and PeachCare enrollment numbers grew, Oklahoma’s Medicaid expansion will begin July 1, 2021 and Tennessee and Texas extended the deadline to apply for funds through the Provider Relief Fund.

Below we breakdown the latest subsidized coverage changes for August 2020, federal Medicaid process updates and state agency closures.*

Here is the August 2020 Medicaid State of the Union:

Alabama Medicaid Updates

A non-partisan group, the Alabama Arise, is now advocating for Medicaid expansion. Governor Kay Ivey is considering the idea of expanding Medicaid, but is concerned about the state paying the share of the cost.

California Medicaid Updates

The state of California approved immediate enrollment flexibility for presumptive Medicaid and using telephonic signatures for those with COVID-19; it covers inpatient, but it is not retroactive, meaning eligibility begins the day of application and does not cover previous months.                                                            

Georgia Medicaid Updates

The state has hired two medical examiners to review disability cases which should speed up any delays occurring over the past year

New enrollment figures show that Medicaid membership grew by 23,000, while PeachCare, saw enrollment rise by 14,000.

Indiana Medicaid Updates

Indiana’s governor announced the extension of the public health emergency to July 4. The state continues to suspend fast track payments and provider enrollment revalidation.              

Kansas Medicaid Updates

Medicaid expansion is no longer up for consideration for 2020. Previously, it was with the Senate as lawmakers debated a constitution amendment on abortion, but it did not pass.                                                                               

Kentucky Medicaid Updates

Five insurance companies were awarded contracts worth approximately $8 billion per year to manage most of Kentucky’s Medicaid.

Louisiana Medicaid Updates

Medicaid members who are approved on or after March 18 for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will remain open for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period. The Medicaid Eligibility Verification System (MEVS) will not show an end date for EMS coverage as it normally would.

Mississippi Medicaid Updates

CMS approved SPA 20-0013-CHIP Benchmark Coverage on July 28 allowing the Division of Medicaid to maintain Secretary-approved coverage for CHIP State Plan services offer to be identical to Medicaid. There will be a few exceptions and exclusions.

Missouri Medicaid Updates

Medicaid expansion was approved on August 4 through public vote. This makes Missouri the 38th state to approve expansion.

The state anticipates expansion to be fully implemented by July 2021.

North Carolina Medicaid Updates

Legislators overwhelmingly approved a Medicaid package that increases next year’s funding by over $460 million. It directs the program beginning its shift from traditional payments to managed care by July 2021.

The federal Declaration of Emergency that was scheduled to end July 25 has been extended through October 25. The state of North Carolina extended its Medicaid COVID-19-related temporary Clinical Coverage Policy provisions to December 31 and its related rate enhancements through September 30.

Oklahoma Medicaid Updates

Oklahoma voters passed Medicaid expansion on June 30. The amendment requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to submit a SPA and other necessary documentation to CMS within 90 days of the ballot measure’s approval and for the expansion of coverage to begin no later than July 1, 2021.

Tennessee Medicaid Updates

On June 9, CMS approved the modification to also apply to CHIP under the federal Section 1135 Waiver, making it effective from March 1 through the termination of the of the public health emergency.

The deadlines to apply for funds through the Provider Relief Fund was extended to August 28.

Texas Medicaid Updates

Maurice McCreary, Jr., has been named the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s chief operating officer, effective July 20.

On July 30, Governor Greg Abbot announced that HHS is extending flexibilities to Medicaid and CHIP recipients and providers through October 23 as the state continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers now have until August 28 to apply for the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.

Utah Medicaid Updates

A new COVID-19 uninsured test coverage is effective beginning June 1. The new program is designed for patients who do not qualify for regular Medicaid. It is retroactive, but does not cover inpatient stays. Patients must not be eligible for HPE, be a US citizen, Utah resident and have no health insurance.

Virginia Medicaid Updates

All DSS offices are closed to the public, but applications can be submitted presumptively via dropbox or online. The state is allowing for in-person office hours for emergencies by appointment only.

Additionally, the state is allowing verbal consent on traditional Medicaid applications.


*This article was published August 14, 2020.