As we're all aware, the final State Budget include cutting $466 million from our Medicaid program. In order to make these cuts and meet these savings, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services needs to put together a Waiver Application to the national Center on Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to request approval for any changes made. Based on this requirement, here are some important next steps to be monitoring:
1) DHS releases draft Medicaid Waiver Application with proposed changes that may impact to Medicaid's benefits, eligibility, and reimbursement rates - expected to happen by end of August or early September.
2) Public Comment Period. Opportunity for stakeholders and the public to weigh in on proposed changes. Amount of time and method of receiving public input, not known.
3) DHS finalizes and submits Medicaid Waiver Application to CMS. Likely to happen in October.
4) CMS reviews application - opportunity to share public input with CMS.
5) CMS rule on acceptance, rejection or amendment on Waiver Application by December 31st, 2011.
6a) CMS rejects proposal and DHS lowers adult eligibility to 133% FPL and revoke coverage for 60,000 individuals. OR
6b) CMS approves proposal and DHS recommendations (unknown at this time) move forward for implementation OR
6c) CMS amends with changes unknown for implementation in Wisconsin.
Be sure to stay tuned for more information regarding opportunities to take actions at each of these junctures. This fight is far from over and we will continue to work to Save BadgerCare and protect it's integrity, the affordability, benefits and eligibility!