Education

Bevin’s Medicaid waiver proposal clears initial hurdle with federal government

Gov. Matt Bevin, right, unveiled details of his plan to overhaul Medicaid during a morning news conference in the State Capitol rotunda in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, June 22, 2016. On the left is Mark D. Birdwhistell, a former Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, who assembled a team of experts to assist in the drafting of a Medicaid waiver.
Gov. Matt Bevin, right, unveiled details of his plan to overhaul Medicaid during a morning news conference in the State Capitol rotunda in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, June 22, 2016. On the left is Mark D. Birdwhistell, a former Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, who assembled a team of experts to assist in the drafting of a Medicaid waiver. cbertram@herald-leader.com

The federal government told the Bevin administration Thursday that its Medicaid waiver proposal has “sufficient information to evaluate” and it now wants to hear from Kentuckians what they think about the proposal.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Press Secretary Marjorie Connolly said the agency has certified the completeness of Kentucky’s application for a Medicaid waiver, one of the first hurdles the proposal must clear.

She said the next step is a 30-day federal comment period.

“After the comment period and review and consideration of public input, the waiver process usually involves significant additional dialogue between HHS and states,” Connolly said. “We are prepared to continue working for as long as it takes to find a solution that builds on the historic progress Kentucky has made under Medicaid expansion and avoids moving backwards.”

To comment, go to Medicaid.org and click on “View Section 1115 Demonstration List” to find Kentucky.

Bevin submitted his proposal to the federal government last month for the program that provides health insurance for 1.32 million Kentuckians.

The most controversial measures include premiums and co-pays and a requirement that able-bodied adults be engaged in their communities for at least 20 hours every week, through a job, classes, volunteering or other specified activities.

Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198, @BGPolitics

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