Michigan: Health Department Prepares Medicaid Expansion Waiver for Submission

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is seeking CMS approval to modify its current Medicaid expansion program, known as Healthy Michigan, as required by original authorizing legislation. Under the terms of the new waiver, which is currently open to public comment before submission to CMS, those with incomes between 100% and 133% of the federal poverty level who have been enrolled in Healthy Michigan for 48 cumulative months would be required to either purchase private insurance through the federal marketplace (with premium and cost-sharing assistance) or remain in Healthy Michigan but pay up to 7% of their incomes in cost-sharing. Michigan currently requires enrollees in this income range to contribute up to 2% of their incomes in cost-sharing. CMS must approve the waiver, which proposes a level of cost-sharing not previously approved, by December 2015 for Healthy Michigan to continue past April 2016.

Washington: Legislature Sends Budget to Governor, Avoiding State Government Shutdown

After contentious budget negotiations that had State officials preparing for a government shutdown, Washington legislators agreed on a two-year, $38.2 billion budget with funding for the State's Health Benefit Exchange set at $110 million. Prior to the agreement, the House had called for $124 million in Exchange funding while the Senate proposed only $85.9 million, a level which the Exchange’s leadership stated would represent a serious challenge to the Exchange's financial sustainability. The budget compromise is expected to be signed by the Governor.