On February 20, the federal government issued conditional approval of a waiver that will allow the state to require most Medicaid recipients to enroll in managed care plans. In notifying the state of its conditional approval, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services stated that certain terms and conditions – including strict monitoring, stakeholder engagement, and quality of care measurements – will need to be included in the waiver agreement. The state has been awaiting the federal government’s decision on its waiver request since 2011, when it passed legislation to implement statewide Medicaid managed care. If the waiver is ultimately approved, the state could begin transitioning individuals into managed care plans later this year.
Also on February 20, Governor Scott announced his support for Medicaid expansion pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which would raise the income limit for Medicaid eligibility to 133% of the federal poverty level. Although, Gov. Scott only committed to expansion for the three years during which the federal government pays 100% of the costs. Ultimately, the Legislature will have to pass legislation addressing expansion; at this point, neither chamber has indicated its support or opposition to the measure. In terms of the county cost share for Medicaid services currently mandated by Sec. 409.915, F.S., FAC is working to ensure that counties not be required to reimburse the state for Medicaid patients paid for by 100% federal funds, should the state opt to expand Medicaid eligibility.