A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Medicaid waiver to expand coverage, increase care access for Kentuckians with Substance Use Disorder

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is set to expand access to treatment and recovery services for individuals with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) through a portion of its 1115 Medicaid demonstration waiver, beginning July 1. This program further amplifies the Commonwealth’s overall efforts to fight the opioid crisis, as well as other substance addictions. With Kentucky’s commitment to combatting opioid,...

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...

Jason Dunn: A policy in search of a constituency, Kentuckians deserve answers on Medicaid waiver

Starting January 1, 2019, most adults covered by Medicaid will be required to pay a copayment for most Medicaid-covered services. It’s a policy in search of a constituency, and Kentuckians deserve to know why. First, some of the basics. The copays will range from $3 for most office visits to $50 for hospital stays. It may not sound like much to some people, but for households on very limited budgets...

State officials say they are working through details and plan to request re-approval of Medicaid waiver

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State officials told a legislative committee that they are working through details and will be seeking re-approval of the Medicaid waiver that a federal judge halted last month. Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Adam Meier and Deputy Secretary Kristi Putnam testified before the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee on Wednesday about the status of the...

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...

Opponents dominate public hearing on state’s revised proposal for changes in Medicaid program

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Only three of the 17 Kentuckians who spoke at the final public hearing in Frankfort on changes to the state’s Medicaid proposal supported it. The advocates said the work requirements “will make their lives better” and cited personal responsibility as reasons for their support. Opponents, however, said the changes create a barrier to care for...

State’s revised Medicaid waiver would increase work requirements, add penalty for not reporting changes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed modifications to the state’s Medicaid waiver request, with stronger work and volunteer requirements and a six-month disqualification for those who fail to report changes in their work and employment status. Kentucky submitted its original proposal to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about ten months ago...

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...

Yarmuth seeks update on Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver; urges health secretary to reject it

In a June 15 letter, Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville asked U.S. Health Secretary Tom Price for an update on the status of Kentucky’s proposal to reshape its Medicaid program, and urged him to not approve it. The proposal went to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services almost 10 months ago. Approval is expected, but it may include provisions that were not requested of the...

Commentary: Study of Indiana’s Medicaid program a warning against state’s plans to charge premiums

By Dustin Pugel Special to KyForward A recent evaluation of Indiana’s Medicaid waiver program should stand as a warning for Kentucky policymakers attempting to similarly charge premiums in our own Medicaid program. While proponents of Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver proposal say charging premiums wouldn’t be a barrier to coverage and care for low-income Kentuckians, the findings of the study of Indiana’s...

Overwhelming percentage of public comments opposed Bevin’s new Medicaid proposal, report says

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Nearly 1,750 Kentuckians submitted comments about Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan for Medicaid during the federal public comment period that ended Oct. 8 and the vast majority of them opposed it. The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, after removing repeated comments submitted over the same names, and the responses that were left blank or were not related to the...

Kentucky Voices for Health hosting eight community forums to discuss proposed Medicaid changes

Kentucky Voices for Health will host eight community forums across the state to discuss Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid program during the 30-day federal comment period, which ends Oct. 8. Each event will feature a brief presentation about the proposed changes, allow time for questions and will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss how the proposed changes...

Public comment period for Bevin’s Medicaid waiver request to feds open now through Oct. 8

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentuckians have 30 days to let the federal government know what it thinks about Gov. Matt Bevin’s new Medicaid plan, starting Thursday and ending at 11 p.m. Oct. 8. “We look forward to the public input that will be received over the next 30 days,” the Republican governor said in a news release. He said the plan “will allow us to provide Medicaid...

Commentary: Bevin’s Medicaid waiver plan a thinly veiled effort to take health care away from poor

By Rep. Darryl Owens Special to KyForward In spite of massive public outcry, which included testimony from medical professionals, warnings from vision and dental experts, fact driven data from advocates and pleas from Kentuckians who will be devastated by the loss of their healthcare, Gov. Matt Bevin has submitted a harsh, draconian expanded Medicaid waiver proposal to the U.S. Department of Health...

Bevin’s Medicaid proposal remains largely unchanged from June draft, approval uncertain

By Melissa Patrick and Al Cross Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration formally submitted its revised Medicaid plan to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell Aug. 24, leaving largely unchanged provisions that Burwell has said will not be approved. At stake is coverage for about 430,000 people who are covered by the 2014 expansion of Medicaid under federal health reform...

Commentary: Some issues addressed in revised Medicaid waiver, but concerns remain

By Susan Zepeda Special to KyForward The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is closely reviewing the revised HEALTH Medicaid waiver proposal and evaluating it through the lens of our original comments. The proposed changes could have a substantial impact on low-income Kentuckians, providers, and the state as a whole. On a first reading of the proposal, we find that some of the concerns expressed in...

Bevin administration submits revised Medicaid waiver proposal to federal government

Gov. Matt Bevin submitted the Section 1115 demonstration waiver known as Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health) to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Sylvia Burwell Wednesday. The waiver will put Kentuckians on a path to better health outcomes, ensure long-term sustainability of the Medicaid program and familiarize members with commercial...

Kentuckians have an extra week to comment on Bevin administration’s proposed changes to Medicaid

State officials have given Kentuckians an extra week to comment on Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid program. The new deadline for comments is Sunday, Aug. 14, at 11:59 p.m. The original deadline was July 22. Officials said they reopened the comment period to assure that the “numerous comments” that came in afterward could be considered. “Thirty...

Analysis of Indiana Medicaid plan shows same concern about hardship voiced by Kentucky critics

By Danielle Ray Kentucky Health News While Republican Gov. Matt Bevin works on his proposal to reform his Democratic predecessor’s expansion of Medicaid, the Indiana program that was his model is suffering mixed reviews from a recent analysis. Bevin’s administration has said it hopes to file his plan with federal officials in August. The changes are modeled after Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s...

State officials predict some changes will be made to medicaid waiver and federal officials will approve it

From Kentucky Health News Some of the comments about proposed changes in the state Medicaid program will be included in an “improved” plan to be submitted to federal officials in about two weeks, Health Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said Sunday on KET’s “One to One.” “We got some great comments; we got some very thoughtful comments” on ways the plan...