CMS To Let States Keep Using SNAP Data for Medicaid Eligibility
A temporary program that allows states to use data from a food assistance program to determine Medicaid eligibility will be made permanent, CMS announced Monday in a letter to state Medicaid directors, Modern Healthcare reports (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 9/2). The change also will apply to determining eligibility for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CMS letter, 8/31).
In 2013, ahead of the Affordable Care Act's first open enrollment period, CMS launched a temporary program aimed to alleviate an anticipated backlog of Medicaid applications as a result of states expanding the program via the law.
Under the program, states can use data from enrollment applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to determine whether individuals are also eligible for, but not yet enrolled in, Medicaid. The state can enroll such individuals in Medicaid without needing to complete a full Medicaid application or undergo a separate eligibility check. States had to receive a waiver from CMS to use the program.
The eligibility exception was scheduled to expire at the end of 2015.
CMS wrote in the letter that it is "pleased to be able to provide states with additional opportunities to facilitate enrollment of eligible individuals in Medicaid, and encourage states that have not adopted any of these options, as well as states that need additional assistance, to contact us."
Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, said, "There will probably be [a] number of states that will have interest in the expedited pathway."
Jocelyn Guyer, a director at Manatt Health Solutions, added that the change could help states to "save ... on administrative costs and spare families lots of unnecessary paperwork."
Meanwhile, Dorothy Rosenbaum, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, called the change "great news for low-income people seeking to stay connected to health coverage and for the state agencies that administer Medicaid" (Modern Healthcare, 9/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.