State Update

Reports of Interest - April 2014

(Medicare and Medicaid, HHS) Permanent link   All Posts
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a research brief finding that eight out of 10 (1.6 million) uninsured Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) may be eligible for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and could qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or tax credits to help with the cost of premiums. If all states took advantage of new opportunities to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, 89% of uninsured AANHPIs who may be eligible for the Marketplace might qualify for Medicaid, CHIP or tax credits to help with the cost of health insurance premiums.
  • The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission’s (MACPAC) issued its March 2014 Report to the Congress on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). MACPAC is a nonpartisan Congressional advisory commission that provides analytic support and makes policy recommendations to the Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the states on a wide range of issues in Medicaid and CHIP. Although the March 2014 Report makes several recommendations to the Congress, one is of particular relevance. MACPAC recommends ending CHIP premiums for children with family incomes below 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Eliminating CHIP premiums for families with incomes under 150% of the FPL will reduce uninsurance and align CHIP premium policies with Medicaid policies for lower-income children. Compared to higher-income enrollees, children in families below 150% FPL are much more price sensitive and less likely to take up CHIP coverage when a premium is required. According to MACPAC, the CHIP premiums charged in this income range, generally less than $10 per month, are so small that they would not represent a significant revenue loss to states if they were eliminated—especially as this also removes states’ burden in collecting and administering these premiums.