By Consumers for Quality Care, on November 1, 2017
As Consumers For Quality Care previously reported, Massachusetts recently submitted a Medicaid 1115 waiver request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would make substantial changes for current MassHealth recipients, cutting health care coverage for those who need it most. More than 400 groups submitted comments with serious concerns about the Massachusetts waiver request.
Children’s Defense Fund, Community Catalyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, and others signed a letter that said:
“Experience from other states that have lowered Medicaid eligibility, such as Wisconsin, Connecticut and Rhode Island, shows that even when efforts are made to assure a smooth transition to marketplace coverage, people get lost in the transition. In Rhode Island, despite considerable efforts, 1,271 parents of the 6,574 (or 19 percent) who lost Medicaid when the state rolled back eligibility never applied to enroll in a qualified health plan (QHP), and likely became uninsured. During the first round of a similar parent eligibility rollback in Connecticut, only one in four parents losing Medicaid coverage enrolled in a QHP. In Wisconsin, only one-third of those losing Medicaid coverage purchased QHPs although the state had predicted that 90 percent would.
Health Care for All signed on to a letter with the Boston Public Health Commission, Massachusetts Medical Society, and others that said:
” Given the high cost of living in Massachusetts, individuals with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) are often unable to pay for basic needs and have no disposable income to pay for health care.”
These are just a few examples of the statements from consumer groups concerned about the waiver’s impact on Massachusetts consumers.