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Q&A with ACL Acting Administrator Alison Barkoff

The Council on Quality Leadership published a Q&A with ACL Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging Alison Barkoff about the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) settings rule in their latest newsletter. The Q&A session explores the settings rule, and how states can implement best practices throughout the transition period for implementation.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74468

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Recuction of Prices for Certain Medicare Part B Prescription Drugs

On March 15th, the Department of Health and Human Services, through CMS, announced 27 prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part B that may have lower beneficiary coinsurances. From April 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023, some people with Medicare who take these drugs may save between $2 and $390 per average dose, depending on the beneficiary’s coverage. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in August 2022, drug companies that raise their drug prices faster than the rate of information are required to pay a rebate to Medicare. Starting April 1, 2023, Medicare beneficiaries may pay a lower coinsurance for certain Part B drugs if the drug’s price increased faster than the rate of inflation in a benchmark quarter.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74467

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What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access

KFF released a brief “What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access” (January 31, 2023) that the describes the major health-related COVID-19 emergency declarations made by the federal government since January 2020, and the flexibilities resulting from the declarations. The areas covered in the brief include coverage, costs, and payment for COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines; Medicaid coverage and federal match rates; and telehealth, among other provisions. According to KFF, the list does not include all federal policy and regulatory provisions made in response to COVID-19 emergency declarations.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74351

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KFF Releases Analysis on Medicare and Medicaid Dually Eligible Beneficiaries

The KFF recently published two analyses on demographics and program enrollment and spending of Medicare and Medicaid dually eligible beneficiaries or dual eligibles. The article, “A Profile of Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees”, analyzes the demographic, socioeconomic, and health characteristics of dual eligibles using data from the 2020 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. The second article, “Enrollment and Spending Patterns Among Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees (Dual Eligibles)”, examines national and state-level data on enrollment and spending for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. The authors used data from the 2019 and 2020 Medicare Beneficiary Summary Files and the 2019 Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System for this analysis.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74350

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Changes Made to SNAP Benefit Amounts

There are several changes that may affect SNAP household’s benefit amounts over the coming months. The temporary boost to SNAP benefits put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, known as emergency allotments, will end nationwide after the February 2023 issuance. In addition, households that receive SNAP and Social Security benefits will see a decrease in their SNAP benefits because of the significant cost of living increase to Social Security benefits that took effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74342

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Rates of Medicaid Churn and Continuous Coverage Among Children and Working-Age Adults with Disability-Related Eligibility

This publication finds meaningful variation in disenrollment and churn across Medicaid beneficiary categories. Specifically, beneficiaries with Supplemental Security Income-related eligibility have low rates of disenrollment and high rates of reenrollments. In this research, Mathematica uses data from the Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System Analytic File to examine rates of disenrollment, churn, and continuous coverage among categories of children and adult Medicaid beneficiaries whose eligibility is related to a disability.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74310

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CMS Issues an Informational Bulletin on the Provisions Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023

On January 5, 2023 CMS released an Informational Bulletin providing further guidance on the Medicaid eligibility provisions in the recently-enacted Federal budget (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023). The CAA permits states to begin terminating Medicaid eligibility for current recipients on April 1, 2023 and provides gradually-decreased FMAP increases through December, 2023. This IB is the first in a series of written guidance from CMS on these provisions, focusing first on revised key due dates for certain state eligibility redetermination deliverables and activities.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74297

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Medicare Open Enrollment Toolkit

The annual Medicare open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans ends Wednesday, December 7, 2022. To assist individuals who counsel Medicare clients, the National Council on Aging or NCOA developed a “Medicare Open Enrollment Toolkit”. The Toolkit includes many useful resources designed for professionals, advocates, caregivers, and/or older adults, including a fact sheet on changes to Medicare in 2023; information on Medicare Part A and Part B premiums and cost-sharing in 2023; a 2023 Medicare Part D cost-sharing chart; and other helpful information and guidance.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74254

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June 2022 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP

MACPAC has released its June 2022 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP. The report recommends measures that Congress can take to better monitor access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries, improve the oversight and transparency of managed care directed payments, increase access to vaccines for adults enrolled in Medicaid, encourage the uptake of health information technology in behavioral health, and better integrate care for Medicaid and Medicare dual-eligibles. The commission also offers policy levers that states and the federal government can use to promote equity in Medicaid.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73981

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Updated 2022 SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards

This CMCS informational bulletin provides an update on the 2022 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Spousal Impoverishment Standards. Certain Medicaid income and resource standards are adjusted annually in accordance with changes in the SSI federal benefit rate (FBR) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI). These include some of the standards described in section 1924 of the Social Security Act, which describes the financial eligibility rules that apply when married individuals seek coverage of certain long-term services and supports. Included with this informational bulletin is the revised 2022 SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards chart that displays the updated MMMNA and Community Spouse Monthly Housing Allowances.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73955


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