Week in Washington: Medicaid Expansion & Lawsuits

April 19, 2018

Medicaid Expansion: The issue of Medicaid expansion continues to remain in the news.

  • Virginia – The House of Delegates passed a Medicaid expansion bill as part of a special legislative session. The issue will go to the Senate now, where it is possible that a bill for Medicaid expansion will pass. It is also possible that such a bill will only pass if work requirements are included as part of the deal.
  • Utah- Enough signatures were verified to put the issue of Medicaid expansion on the ballot in the fall in Utah.
  • Ballot initiatives are also underway in Idaho and Nebraska. If sufficient signatures are obtained, these states will join Utah on voting on Medicaid expansion. Efforts are also underway in Montana to have a ballot initiative to continue Medicaid expansion past 2019, when it is currently expected to sunset.

Medicaid Work Requirements: Michigan is currently debating imposing work requirements on its Medicaid population. Michigan’s state senate passed the measure, albeit the measure is currently being opposed by the governor (Snyder).

CSR Lawsuit: A major win by insurers in their recovery of CSR payments. As a reminder, many issuers sued the Federal government when CSR payments were ended. Today a federal court tentatively ruled that silver-loading does not mitigate damages due to CSR non-payments. While a long road of appeals lies ahead, the ruling does increase the probability that issuers will eventually receive CSR payments from the Federal government.

Research of the Week: From Zhang, Trish, and Sood on the impact of consumer-directed health plans on out of pocket expenses.The findings show that the mean marginal impact of these plans was an increase of $285 in expenses for the consumer.