Revised Kentucky HEALTH Plan is Costly, Complex, and Greatly Reduces Access to Care
On Wednesday, Governor Bevin submitted his revised Kentucky HEALTH plan to Secretary Burwell at the US Department of Health & Human Services. The 1115 waiver application requests changes that would dramatically restructure Kentucky's Medicaid program with negative consequences for more than 1.2 million Kentuckians.
After completing a thorough review of the revised waiver, it is clear that the positive changes made to the plan -- most notably scaling back benefit reductions and eliminating cost-sharing for the "medically frail" -- do not go nearly far enough toward eliminating barriers to care and improving the health of Kentuckians. Despite these modest improvements, the plan remains costly, complex and greatly reduces access to care. With savings based solely on covering 86,000 fewer Kentuckians and placing greater burdens on our providers and nonprofits, this plan threatens to erode our health and social safety nets.
The bottom line is that the Administration hasn't presented HHS with a Medicaid waiver that can be approved. This leaves us with the troubling question of whether Governor Bevin is willing to negotiate with HHS to design a plan that builds on the success of our current Medicaid expansion or whether he will choose to end Medicaid expansion entirely. Over the next many months, this question will be weighing heavily on the minds of nearly half a million Kentuckians who are now at risk of losing their coverage and the improved health, financial security and sense of wellbeing it has given them.
As the upcoming 30-day federal comment period approaches, it will be critically important for Kentuckians to understand the impact of these proposed Medicaid changes and to make their concerns known to federal regulators. Over the next two weeks, KVH will be updating our consumer toolkit and sharing more information about a number of educational and advocacy opportunities.
Want to learn more about the revised waiver?
For more information about the proposed changes and their impact on Kentuckians with Medicaid coverage, take a look at the summary prepared by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy and the updated KVH Fact Sheet for Consumers.
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