In latest legal blow to Medicaid work requirements, judge blocks Michigan community engagement rules

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg cited a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejecting HHS’s approval of Arkansas’ similar waiver. The appeals committee’s unanimous opinion said the waiver approval was inconsistent with the primary purpose of the Medicaid law, which is to provide medical coverage.

Modern healthcare: Judge blocks Michigan Medicaid work requirement

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked Michigan’s Medicaid work requirement, which went into effect in January and could have caused thousands of low-income adults to lose coverage as early as June. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington overturned HHS’ December 2018 approval of Michigan’s ‘community encumbrance’ waiver that required Medicaid expansion enrollees to report 80 hours a month of work or other “community engagement” activities to maintain coverage. It is still reviewing the legality of new bonuses and copays under the waiver. (Meyer, 3/4)

The Associated Press: Judge strikes down Michigan Medicaid work requirements

The decision was welcomed by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose administration had called for a quick decision after unsuccessfully trying to delay rules enacted by her Republican predecessor and the GOP-controlled legislature. Prior to the ruling, the state had prepared to notify more than 80,000 of the approximately 675,000 enrollees in Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program that they were not complying with reporting requirements for January and would lose coverage on May 31. May if they didn’t show up for February and March. (3/4)

Mlive.Com: US District Court Blocks Michigan Medicaid Work Requirements

Whitmer’s administration had previously urged the legislature to suspend implementation of the requirements while legal challenges were pending. “I asked the legislature to take a break because we knew this was going to happen, and they wouldn’t,” she said. “I’m grateful the decision was made so quickly so we didn’t create a lot of unnecessary anxiety and waste taxpayers’ money. (Mack, 3/4)

Michigan Radio: Federal Court Overturns Michigan Medicaid Work Requirement

But Republicans say Whitmer shouldn’t move too quickly to quash the work requirement. “It’s good to put it in neutral. I just wouldn’t put it upside down,” said State Sen. Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford), who chairs the Senate Human Services Budget Subcommittee. MacGregor says the decision will likely be appealed and he wants to wait for a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. (Pluta, 3/4)

In other CMS news

Modern healthcare: Insurers warn CMS not to end auto-enrollment for low-income people

Health insurers and their professional associations, providers, employer groups and unions have all sounded the alarm over the federal government’s recent suggestion that it could stop automatically re-enrolling some low-income people in the Act’s swap plans. on affordable care. In January, CMS asked for comment on whether to eliminate or reduce tax credits for subsidized exchange enrollees who receive $0 premium plans unless they actively re-enroll. to coverage during open registration. The agency said the change could reduce the risk of it paying out premium tax credits to people who are not eligible. (Livingstone, 3/3)

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