Colorado: Uninsured Rate Declines Notably

Findings from the 2015 Colorado Health Access Survey indicate that the State's uninsured rate has fallen from 15.8% to 6.7% over the past four years, spurred by the State’s decision to expand Medicaid. According to the report, Colorado has added 450,000 new Medicaid beneficiaries since 2013 and Connect for Health Colorado, the State’s online Marketplace, has enrolled 155,000 consumers. Despite predictions about the impacts of increased enrollment on access, the report finds only a slight increase in the percentage of people who were unable to make an appointment with a provider when needed. The Colorado Health Institute’s health access report also includes analysis of Marketplace enrollment, churn across all sources of insurance and access and affordability of coverage.

Michigan: State Submits Medicaid Expansion Waiver Amendment to CMS

Governor Rick Snyder’s (R) administration submitted a Section 1115 waiver amendment to CMS requesting changes to coverage options for “Healthy Michigan” (Medicaid expansion) enrollees above 100% of the federal poverty level with 48 continuous months of enrollment. If approved, the State would provide these enrollees with two options for continued coverage. Under Option 1, the beneficiary would enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) and pay premiums and cost-sharing consistent with the QHP’s standards, while the State would contribute an amount comparable to the beneficiary’s advance premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. Option 2 allows beneficiaries to remain enrolled through the Healthy Michigan managed care organizations, with higher premiums and an increased limit on total cost-sharing of up to 7% of income (higher than what CMS has approved in other states to-date). Michigan intends to pursue expanding healthy behavior activities—which can reduce out-of-pocket costs—for enrollees affected by the increased expenses. Enrollees who do not select either option will be defaulted into Option 2. State law requires the waiver amendment to be approved by December 31, 2015 and requests implementation as of April 1, 2018, the first date at which an enrollee could reach 48 months of enrollment. If the waiver is not approved, State law requires that the Medicaid expansion program terminate.