Governor Announces Medicaid Redesign and Expansion Leadership; Medicaid Commissioner Resigns

Despite his initial campaign promise to repeal Medicaid expansion, Governor Matt Bevin (R) announced that the State has begun to redesign its Medicaid program and replace the traditional Medicaid expansion with an alternative model through a federal waiver. The Governor appointed Mark Birdwhistell, the Health and Family Services Secretary under former Governor Ernie Fletcher (R), to develop the program and work with CMS to reach agreement on the new direction, which is likely to include a requirement for enrollees to pay for some of their plan costs, according to the Governor. Governor Bevin hopes to finalize the plan in 2016 for a 2017 launch. The current Medicaid expansion program will continue until the new plan is launched. In the meantime, Lisa Lee, the Medicaid commissioner appointed by former Governor Steve Beshear (D), has resigned. The Governor's spokeswoman said the Administration has begun searching for a new commissioner.