Medicaid redeterminations are still the industry hot topic. To ensure that states are doing all they can to minimize the number of Medicaid enrollees who lose their coverage during the redetermination process, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent governors a letter this week with guidance on how to curtail coverage loss. “I urge you to ensure that your state is implementing every possible option to prevent eligible individuals from losing coverage,” wrote HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. The continuous coverage requirement has led to significant enrollment growth in both Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but this is expected to change when states begin redetermining enrollees’ eligibility in April.
This week, the Biden Administration released its annual budget for the 2024 federal fiscal year, outlining the administration’s health care policy priorities. Part of President Biden’s budget includes federal funding to provide Medicaid-like coverage to residents of states who have not adopted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Biden Administration says this is key to improving the health of rural communities, hospitals, and healthcare workers. President Biden’s budget would also make permanent the ACA subsidies that were included in the American Rescue Plan Act and are currently set to expire in 2025. The temporary enhancement improved the affordability of ACA marketplace plans and led to a record enrollment of 16.3 million people during the most recent open enrollment period. It is expected that President Biden’s proposed budget will face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled House, where members of the party are calling for spending cuts. We will continue to follow health care budget updates during the budgeting process.