Fixing the Family Glitch and Other Priorities: The Next Wave of Federal Administrative Action to Enhance the Affordable Care Act

Last year was a busy time for health policy. After a change in administration in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we saw numerous federal policy changes to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid program. Policymakers weren’t going it alone; stakeholders weighed in on health policy priorities, outlining administrative actions to increase access […]

California’s Medicaid Managed Care Waiver: New Potential for Access and Transparency

One of the most significant Medicaid managed care developments in 2021 happened on December 29, when CMS approved federal funding and waivers for California’s reform initiative, Advancing Innovation in Medi-Cal (CalAIM).  The approval involved two sets of waivers, one operating under section 1115 of the Social Security Act, the other under section 1915(b)(4). For good […]

Biden Administration Says No to Premiums in Medicaid

Just before the end of the year, the Biden Administration took an important stand protecting people enrolled in Medicaid. Three states (AR, GA, and MT) received news from CMS the week before Christmas on section 1115 Medicaid waiver requests of various kinds – but with one common element – that their plans to charge premiums […]

Research Update: New Urban Institute Report Highlights Pandemic-Related Barriers to Health Care Among Low-Income Parents

Parents’ lack of health insurance coverage and access to health services can reduce children’s access to care and harm their families’ broader financial health. This is why the Urban Institute’s new report on coverage, access, overall health, and ability to meet family financial needs among parents at different income levels after the first year of […]

CMS Releases Guidance on New Medicaid Mobile Crisis Services Option

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services kept busy over the holidays with the release of new guidance to states on the American Rescue Plan Act’s new Medicaid state option to provide qualifying community-based mobile crisis intervention services.  As discussed here on Say Ahhh!, ARPA included a provision allowing state Medicaid programs to provide community-based […]