Proposal Outlines Basic State Health Coverage

     WASHINGTON (CN) – As part of the Affordable Care Act implementation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have proposed a framework for a basic health program that would give states flexibility in how they provide healthcare for low-income people who cannot access Medicaid.
     Under the act, people and small businesses can buy private health insurance through competitive marketplaces called “exchanges.” The act also aims to provide Medicaid coverage for more low-income individuals.
     The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a proposed regulation outlining requirements for a Basic Health Program, which would go into effect at the beginning of 2015.
     The agency proposed aligning its basic health plan rules with existing rules for exchanges in an effort to “complement and coordinate” the schemes on a state-by-state basis.
     “Recognizing that states may choose different ways to structure their BHP, when possible, we offer states flexibility in choosing to administer the program in accordance with exchange rules or those governing Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program,” the agency wrote.
     The proposed rule details the framework for “eligibility and enrollment, benefits, delivery of health care services, transfer of funds to participating states, and federal oversight” related to the program.
     Among other things, the agency proposes adopting the blueprint for exchanges, which would include a plan naming the funding sources to cover expenses. Each state would be required to outline its basic health program as it relates to the rest of the Affordable Care Act.
     Comments on the proposed rule are due by Nov. 25.

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