On February 22, 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued draft guidelines for states to choose to implement options for Medicaid premiums, cost sharing and benefit packages. The proposed rules are part of ongoing efforts by the administration to clarify some of the many modifications states are now authorized to make to their Medicaid programs as a result of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006.
These most recent proposed rule changes specify that states may charge premiums and impose cost sharing for accessing Medicaid benefits. Premiums are fees that consumers would pay to access the Medicaid program. Cost sharing means that a percentage of a covered product or service is paid by the program; the remainder, sometimes called the co-payment, is paid by the consumer.
NHF is concerned that some of these proposed changes could adversely affect people with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders who rely on Medicaid to reimburse them for their care. Increased costs to consumers--whether through premiums, co-payments or both--could put some families at risk of losing coverage and access to quality care. In addition, the new flexibility on program design could allow states to develop programs that do not meet the needs of individuals with chronic, high-cost conditions.
NHF has joined 27 other national organizations in submitting comments to CMS outlining our shared concerns (Click here to view a copy of our joint comments to CMS.) We will continue to closely monitor and challenge these and other CMS proposals that could potentially harm consumers. We will keep the community informed of ongoing developments.
For more information on changes in your state and what you can do about them, please contact your local NHF chapter or association, or Ruthlyn Noel, NHF Manager of Public Policy, at 212-328-3730 or firstname.lastname@example.org.