Enrollment in Comprehensive Medicaid Managed Care Increased 24% in 2014

Medicaid enrollment in comprehensive managed care rose from 35 million in 2013 to 43.3 million in 2014, according to national and state-specific data released by CMS. The increase is partly attributable to two new populations frequently being enrolled in managed care: Medicaid expansion adults (5 million total), and the aged, blind, and disabled, who have historically been carved out of managed care. In 18 states, more than three-quarters of Medicaid managed care enrollees were in comprehensive plans, up from 12 states in 2013, and enrollment in managed long-term services and supports (LTSS) grew by 175% nationwide. Comprehensive managed care provides a broad set of benefits, including acute, primary and specialty care, and in some states, behavioral health and LTSS.

Alabama: Transition to Managed Care Delayed, Medicaid Funding Shortfall Remains

Following approval by Alabama's House of Representatives, the Senate has voted to give the Medicaid agency the authority to delay the October 1 implementation of the State's Medicaid managed care program after it failed to approve using $70 million of BP oil spill settlement funds to close a portion of Medicaid's $85 million budget shortfall. The recently approved 1115 waiver that authorized the transition to managed care requires the State to ensure the availability of adequate resources for a successful transition, which the State has indicated it may not be able to ensure under the current budget. Commissioner Stephanie Azar said that Medicaid cuts were more likely after the BP bill's failure, though she did not offer further details. Governor Robert Bentley (R), who has not ruled out calling a special session to address Medicaid's funding shortfall, is expected to sign the bill delaying managed care implementation.

Arizona: State Lifts CHIP Enrollment Freeze

Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill to restore enrollment in KidsCare, the State's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), after a week of procedural maneuvering that led to passage of the bill in the Legislature, reports The Associated Press. Enrollment into KidsCare has been largely frozen since 2010.

Maryland: State Seeks Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility for Those Newly Released From Incarceration

Maryland is seeking federal approval to provide Medicaid presumptive eligibility (PE) to individuals newly released from incarceration, which would permit enrollment based on attestation of eligibility information to be followed by a full verification process. According to the State's waiver application, prison and jail staff would be trained and certified to assist incarcerated individuals with full and PE Medicaid applications. For those enrolled via PE, the State would subsequently address outstanding verifications in order to grant full Medicaid eligibility to those who qualify. The State's request is being made through an amendment to its managed care waiver renewal application, and aims to reduce recidivism and emergency care utilization by eliminating barriers to healthcare for ex-prisoners. The waiver renewal application is available for public comment through May 30, 2016 and will be submitted to CMS on July 1, 2016. If approved, the measure will become effective in 2017.