A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Foundation for a healthy Ky., Green River ADD to host health forum in Owensboro Aug. 14

Organizations and individuals working to improve health are invited to attend a Regional Community Health Forum in Owensboro on August 14. Hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in partnership with the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) and Green River District Health Department. The 90-minute afternoon forum will include information on efforts to address teen vaping and the latest...

Deep study finds only 36% affected by Ky’s proposed Medicaid work rule aren’t meeting them already

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin says “hundreds of thousands” of able-bodied adult Kentuckians on Medicaid should be working but choose not to. But when his new Medicaid “community engagement” rules were set to kick in last July, only about 48,000 people on the program were short of meeting the requirements, according to a study of Medicaid records and...

Federal judge’s ruling blocking Medicaid work requirements leaves many confused about eligibility

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The Kentucky HEALTH program, which would have required Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer in order to get health coverage, will not begin this week. A federal judge recently blocked implementation of the program, originally slated to go into effect Mon., Apr. 1. And yet, many Commonwealth residents remain confused about their eligibility. The state says Medicaid...

Judge again blocks Ky’s Medicaid plan with work requirements; Bevin administration eyes ‘next steps’

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A federal judge in Washington has again blocked Gov. Matt Bevin’s attempts to require many people on Medicaid to work or do other forms of “community engagement,” saying that such rules don’t square with Medicaid’s objective to give low-income people health care. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg also ruled March 27 against similar...

CHFS releases updated Medicaid budget predictions, Kentucky HEALTH timeline for 2019

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has released updated guidance regarding the implementation of Kentucky HEALTH, which was re-approved in November by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The new information includes updated implementation milestones for various components of Kentucky HEALTH that will be phased-in during 2019. On April 1, Kentucky HEALTH will begin with many...

Delays announced to implementation of parts of Bevin administration’s Medicaid waiver

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Some parts of the Bevin administration’s implementation of the Medicaid waiver that was granted by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, are being delayed.   
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services on Thursday released updated guidance regarding Kentucky HEALTH, which was re-approved in November by CMS. 
Kentucky HEALTH, an acronym for...

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...