Connecticut: Governor Cuts Hospital Medicaid Payments by $63M

Governor Dannel Malloy (D) announced an additional $103 million in cuts to the State’s budget, including a $63 million reduction in Medicaid payments to hospitals, and an additional loss of $130 million in matching federal funds. Hospital executives say the number of people on Medicaid in Connecticut is on the rise, and have argued that these cuts will impact key services aimed at keeping that population healthy. Hospital executives have urged the State Legislature to convene a special session of the General Assembly to review the Governor's decision and restore funding.

Montana: Blue Cross Blue Shield Expected to Administer Benefits for Medicaid Expansion Program

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana scored the highest among bids to administer benefits to Montana's expanded Medicaid population and is expected to win the contract. If the federal government approves Montana’s expansion plan, Montana will be the first state to contract with a private insurer to administer benefits to an expanded Medicaid population. CMS has posted Montana’s Medicaid expansion proposal for public comment through October 15. Montana has requested that CMS approve the proposal by November 1 so that the State can start providing benefits under the new program on January 1, 2016.

Oklahoma: Premium Support Program for Small Business Employees Expanded

Insure Oklahoma (IO), the State-run Health Insurance Premium Payment program for low- to middle-income individuals is expanding eligibility criteria to employees of businesses with 250 employees or less (up from 99 employees or less). Expansion of IO eligibility is authorized under a preexisting 1115 waiver originally approved in 1995 and extended through 2016. Employees enrolled in IO who purchase a private employer-sponsored insurance plan pay no more than 15% of the premium, IO pays at least 60%, and their employer pays at least 25%. This is IO’s third employer size increase since it launched in 2005 with an employer size limit of 25 employees. IO also offers an individual coverage plan to working Oklahomans and the temporarily unemployed without access to group coverage, and who earn less than the federal poverty level.