Published April 1, 2020
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the Medicaid waiver requests of 29 states under section 1135 of the Social Security Act in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
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The waivers grant states some needed flexibility to focus resources on helping Medicaid recipients get the treatment they need during the pandemic.
The states with approved waivers include:
Some of the deregulation afforded by the waivers eases prior authorizations and provider enrollment requirements, suspends certain pre-admission reviews for nursing homes and facilitates reimbursement to providers for care delivered in alternative settings because of evacuations.
“These waivers give a broad range of states the regulatory relief and support they need to more quickly and effectively care for their most vulnerable citizens,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma.1
The waivers are effective from March 1, 2020, until termination of the public health emergency.
Around 20 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries are dual eligible, meaning they are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.
Some of the actions that state Medicaid programs may now take as a result of the waivers include:
The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving, and more state updates may be issued in coming days.
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
Where you've seen coverage of Christian's research and reports: