A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New poll of Kentucky voters shows wide majority oppose reduction in Medicaid coverage and services

A new poll shows that Kentucky voters by a 2 to 1 margin believe the state should leave Kentucky’s Medicaid program as it is, with no reduction in the number of people who are covered. By a similar margin, they oppose cutting back dental, vision and non-emergency transportation services, even if dental and vision care could be “earned” back through required activities. The reductions in coverage...

State has approval for new rules for Medicaid participants, including some ‘work’ requirements

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The federal government has again approved new rules for some of Kentucky’s Medicaid participants, including a community engagement component of either going to school, getting a job or volunteering in the community to keep their government health coverage. 
The Medicaid waiver is known as Kentucky HEALTH, an acronym for Helping to Engage and Achieve...

Federal government approves Kentucky’s plan for innovation in Medicaid SUD services

The federal government recently approved Kentucky’s implementation plan for substance use disorder services under the 1115 waiver submission from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). The plan will increase Medicaid enrollees’ access to care and enhanced benefits to improve treatment and outcomes for substance use disorder (SUD). The enhanced Kentucky Medicaid SUD treatment package...

Comment period for Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid beneficiary work mandate ends midnight Saturday

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Time is short for Kentuckians to weigh in on the state’s request to mandate work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries. The deadline for a federal comment period on the Kentucky HEALTH plan is Saturday at midnight. Under the proposed waiver, Medicaid expansion beneficiaries would need to meet an 80-hour-per-month work requirement in order to continue receiving...

Bevin administration to reinstate dental and vision care for thousands of Medicaid recipients

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Dental and vision care for thousands of Medicaid recipients in Kentucky will be reinstated by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration, according to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 
The benefits were cut at the end of June, following a federal judge blocking Bevin’s plan to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program.  Democrats and public health advocates spoke...

Kentucky HEALTH stakeholder forum in Ashland rescheduled; additional forum dates announced

A Kentucky HEALTH stakeholder advisory forum originally slated for Thursday, July 12 in Ashland is being rescheduled. The date, place and time of the Ashland forum will be announced later, according to program staff from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Please continue to check the program’s website, kentuckyhealth.ky.gov for updates about upcoming stakeholder forums and other information...

CHFS distributing updated resources to help providers check Medicaid benefit eligibility

In response to changes resulting from the recent judicial decision on Kentucky HEALTH, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is making updated guidance available on Medicaid benefits. “The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) has not changed any policies relating to the eligibility of pregnant women and children, and they should continue to receive all services, including vision and...

State provides Q&A sheet to providers, patients in wake of ruling blocking Medicaid plan

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As the Cabinet for Health and Family Services scrambles to deal with the fall-out from a court ruling that vacated the state’s new Medicaid plan, which was set to go into place Sunday, July 1, its call centers and front-line staff are using a new question-and-answer document to help health-care providers advise their Medicaid clients. The document says...

Kentucky HEALTH delayed by federal judge, halts plan to require Medicaid recipients to work

Staff report A federal judge ruled Friday the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) failed to adequately consider how Kentucky’s proposed Medicaid work rules would affect residents’ access to health care as required under federal law. The ruling halts implementation of the state’s proposal which would have required Medicaid recipients to work, volunteer or otherwise engage in community...

Agencies offering new resources for state’s Medicaid recipients transitioning to Kentucky HEALTH

Kentucky HEALTH, the Commonwealth’s new program for certain able-bodied adults receiving Medicaid, begins on July 1, and several state agencies are working to make the transition as smooth as possible for those recipients. “We have numerous print and digital resources now available that will help the people of the Commonwealth understand and take advantage of Kentucky’s new Medicaid program,”...

Medicaid managed care provider Wellcare plans outbound call operations center in Perry County

WellCare of Kentucky Inc., a managed care provider for Medicaid recipients, will establish a 40-job outbound call facility called a Care Center in Hazard to help members navigate upcoming changes under Kentucky HEALTH. “Our Care Center is more than a call center. This is a place where Kentuckians can talk to fellow Kentuckians as we sort through changing health policy together,” said Bill Jones,...

Kentucky HEALTH to partner with Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in Medicaid waiver program

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has announced a partnership with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in preparation for the launch of Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long-Term Health), the state’s innovative Medicaid waiver program. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, a statewide nonprofit focused on health policy and advocacy, will support Kentucky HEALTH’s community engagement...

Bevin names Meier as Secretary of Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Putnam as Deputy Secretary

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Thursday the appointment of Adam Meier as Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Meier will lead policy and operations for the state’s largest cabinet, responsible for human services and healthcare programs. Meier most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, focusing on the formation of essential administration-wide health, workforce, and...

As Kentucky prepares to begin new Medicaid program resources provide more information

Kentucky will be phasing in its new Medicaid program in July, so the state and other stakeholders have created tools and “explainers” to help Medicaid enrollees and others understand the changes and deal with them. The program is expected to be fully implemented by the end of the year. The state’s new Medicaid plan, called Kentucky HEALTH for “Helping to Engage and Achieve Long-Term...

Stakeholder advisory forums to engage public in the Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid transformation

The Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid Transformation Leadership Team today announced the scheduling of public stakeholder advisory forums. The purpose of these stakeholder advisory forums will be to provide an avenue for constructive feedback and solutions to help ensure a successful transition for Medicaid beneficiaries eligible for the new health and well-being program. “Throughout the past year and half,...

Bevin administration files lawsuit seeking to ensure Kentucky HEALTH complies with federal law

Governor Matt Bevin’s Administration on Monday filed suit in federal district court in Kentucky seeking a ruling that the Commonwealth’s Medicaid waiver, known as Kentucky HEALTH, fully complies with federal law. Interest groups, representing several Kentucky residents, sued the federal government on Jan. 24 about Kentucky HEALTH in Washington, D.C., but did not include the Commonwealth in...

Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Hargan, Gov. Bevin host roundtable on Kentucky HEALTH

Gov. Matt Bevin today welcomed acting U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Eric Hargan, along with officials and citizens of the Commonwealth, to the Governor’s Mansion for a roundtable discussion on Kentucky HEALTH and community engagement. The roundtable included Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner, Kentucky Health & Family Services Secretary Vickie...

Bevin tells PBS work for Medicaid enrollees will build character; opponent says more will lose coverage

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In a national television interview, Gov. Matt Bevin reiterated his assertion that the work requirements for some in Kentucky’s newly approved Medicaid program will provide them with an opportunity to have more “dignity and self-respect” by allowing them to be more engaged in their health care. “So what is it we’re looking to change is,...

Kentucky is first to get Medicaid waiver; Bevin says Kentucky HEALTH is answer, but opposition is strong

Kentucky is the first state to get a Medicaid waiver that would permit the state to require work of service to quality for the insurance. Gov. Matt Bevin announced Friday afternoon that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had approved the Commonwealth’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver known as Kentucky HEALTH — “Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health.” Bevin...

State to accept public comments, hold forums on modifications to pending Medicaid waiver

The Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services announced Monday that it will provide the public the opportunity to review and provide input on operational modifications to the 1115 Kentucky HEALTH demonstration waiver application that is currently pending approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Last year, Gov. Matt Bevin, Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie...