As a result of COVID-19, state and federal Medicaid programs are continuing to see increase in demand due to furloughs and layoffs. State Medicaid caseworkers are still mostly working from home and/or establishing more remote processes to keep team members safe.
Parallon is continuously tracking the status of emergency response 1135 Waivers, Medicaid and Social Security office closures and Medicaid application processing delays. We continue to research verbal attestation of signatures to assist patients in completing applications.
In addition, CMS released a FAQ document in May covering Medicaid and CHIP agency processes for authorized representatives to obtain electronic signatures and state-by-state decisions on how to operationalize. COBRA has announced a new regulation as well that there could be four months after the state of the national emergency ending to elect coverage. Recipients have 60 days after the “outbreak period” to elect.
Below we breakdown the latest subsidized coverage changes for June 2020, federal Medicaid process updates and state agency closures.*
Here is the June 2020 Medicaid State of the Union:
Alabama Medicaid Updates
Currently, the state is holding public comment periods on a new 1115 Waiver that will be submitted. After careful review, it was determined the waiver will have no major impact on eligibility operations. It mostly impacts long-term facilities for the intellectually disabled and providing more funds to those resources. Governor Kay Ivey is considering the idea of expanding Medicaid, but the decision will come down to funding.
Alaska Medicaid Updates
Offices are still closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic but we are submitting applications online and following up by phone. They have relaxed the renewal process and applicants who are up to reapply for Medicaid will remain on the program until next year.
California Medicaid Updates
The state of California is still requiring signatures on full applications and the authorized representative form. However, we received a memo stating the approval of immediate enrollment flexibility for presumptive Medicaid and using telephonic signatures for those with COVID-19, which is helping mitigate some of the face-to-face contact. Many of the county offices are closed to the public, have changed office hours and have most, if not all, of their employees working from home.
Additionally, from June 18 – July 2, the state will cease in making MediCal payments due to the fiscal year.
Florida Medicaid Updates
DCF offices are closed to the public, but the call center and online application processing remains in place. The state allowed for verbal income in March and we have suggested they continue this practice throughout the state of emergency. They are allowing us to submit applications without signature, but are still requiring an authorized representative form to be signed.
Georgia Medicaid Updates
Most of Georgia’s SSA staff is now working from home. DFCS lobbies are closed to the public but employees are working from home and processing applications.
Currently, the state is extending renewals for four months and accepting self-attestation for some assets.
Indiana Medicaid Updates
The governor announced the extension of the public health emergency to July 4. They continue to suspend fast track payments and provider enrollment revalidation.
Kansas Medicaid Updates
Medicaid expansion was stuck in the Senate as lawmakers debate a constitution amendment on abortion. Lawmakers met once again in May and due to other pressing matters and COVID-19, it does not appear the expansion of the Medicaid program will happen this year.
Kentucky Medicaid Updates
PE applications can be submitted with verbal consent and a self-attestation on income.
Louisiana Medicaid Updates
On March 23, the state received an approval for an 1135 Waiver. Several adjustments and flexibilities have been implemented regarding SNAP. Minimal changes to the eligibility program have been implemented and there have been minimal delays.
Mississippi Medicaid Updates
Medicaid in-person offices are closed due to COVID-19, caseworkers are available by phone and patients are able to apply online with no signature.
On March 23, the state received an approval for an 1135 Waiver. The waiver provides flexibilities on pre-admission screening, hearing/appeal timelines, provider enrollment and provision of services in an alternative setting.
Missouri Medicaid Updates
In response to COVID-19, Missouri has expanded coverage for people ages 19-64 who have tested positive for COVID-19 and fall below the income/resource guidelines. They have extended their call center hours and are anticipating being able to process these applications within 2-3 business days. They are utilizing a specific application process that must be used through the provider profile.
Additionally, twice as many signatures needed were gathered to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot. However, there is still opposition with two separate lawsuits against the ballot proposal. Both have been dismissed, which will allow Medicaid expansion to be brought to public vote on August 4.
Nevada Medicaid Updates
DWSS lobbies are closed to the public but staff is working in the office or from home. No electronic signature is required but a paper authorized rep form is completed at the moment.
New Hampshire Medicaid Updates
The state is not allowing in-person office hours but handling everything via phone or email.
North Carolina Medicaid Updates
In regards to Social Services, most of the larger counties have skeleton crews onsite and staff working from home. The state is allowing for applications to be submitted via phone and email, along with a verbal or written attestation. They have a freeze on terminating benefits unless the beneficiary moves out of state or voluntarily terminates eligibility.
Oklahoma Medicaid Updates
Grassroots efforts are underway supporting Medicaid expansion urging voters to say “Yes to 802” which is included on the June 30 ballot. If approved, it would expand Medicaid to 200,000 Oklahomans.
South Carolina Medicaid Updates
Eligibility offices are closed to walk-in traffic, but we are still able to apply online and follow-up via customer service.
The new MMIS system replacement originally scheduled for July 2021 completion is now estimating a completion date of October/November 2021.
Tennessee Medicaid Updates
The state has paused terminations for both Medicaid and Cover Kids, accepting self-attestation of income and resources. The state submitted an 1115 Waiver in April that would provide additional funds to providers treating patients with COVID-19. It does not expand the population of recipients receiving Medicaid, but would better financially support the reimbursement of the COVID-19 diagnosis. The state continues to permit third party applicants to file TennCare applications with verbal consent.
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 Medicaid. The program is retroactive beginning June 1. Patients must not be eligible for HPE, be a US citizen, a Utah resident and have no health insurance.
Virginia Medicaid Updates
All DSS offices are closed to the public. However, applications can be submitted presumptively, via drop box or online.
*This article was published June 26, 2020.