As we gear up for a busy week in Washington, D.C., our colleagues at ML Strategies have provided a Health Care Weekly Preview.  This week’s preview describes upcoming hearing on safety net health programs and prescription drug costs along with the progress of the American Health Care Act.  Stay tuned for additional updates and analysis from ML Strategies.

Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) required coverage of individuals with incomes from 0% of the federal poverty level (FPL) through 133% of the FPL.  The requirement to cover this group was overturned in NFIB v. Sebelius.  As a result, it is now up to states to determine whether they will offer Medicaid coverage to these individuals.  This new category of eligible Medicaid beneficiaries is often referred to as childless adults.

A number of Republicans, both governors and those in Congress, have taken to using the term “able-bodied” to refer to this group.  If you are able-boded, the theory goes, the Medicaid program should reasonably expect you to work. As a result, some Medicaid expansion and Medicaid reform proposals have included work requirements as an eligibility criteria for Medicaid. We can expect this topic to continue to be raised as we get deeper into ACA reform. Continue Reading Who Are the Medicaid Able-Bodied?

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Indiana’s waiver under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act to implement Medicaid expansion, making it the 29th state (including the District of Columbia) to expand Medicaid.  Indiana’s program, referred to as the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0 will cover up to 350,000 individuals, including individuals ages 19 to 64 with annual incomes under 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) beginning February 1, 2015.  Under HIP 2.0, beneficiaries will receive services through one of two benefit packages, HIP Basic or HIP Plus, based on the individuals’ incomes and contributions to POWER accounts, which the State describes as types of health savings accounts.

In approving Indiana’s waiver, CMS approved several provisions that have not been approved in other Medicaid expansion programs or waivers, which may entice other states to consider, or reconsider, expansion.  Continue Reading What Indiana’s Medicaid Expansion Means For Other States