Idaho Seeks Coverage Choice Waiver for Medicaid

Manatt’s Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health, spoke with Health Plan Weekly on Idaho’s proposed “Coverage Choice Waiver” for Medicaid.

According to Health Plan Weekly, Idahoans making between 100% and 138% of the federal poverty level could opt to get health insurance coverage through Medicaid or via the Your Health Idaho state exchange.

Ario said he was not sure whether this plan could be passed in 2019.

“We’re almost past the deadline for anyone to do anything adventurous for 2020 [ACA exchange] enrollment … so the writing is on the wall for state empowerment waivers,” he said.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has asked states to try more “transformative strategies,” but Ario says these “would come at the cost of hurting people in the larger risk pool.” However, he also said that states’ pursuit of Section 1332 reinsurance programs to cut premium rates by around 5% to 10% “is a solid step forward.”



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