With this decision, CMS is making it clear that policies that make it harder for the lowest-income people in the program to get health care are inconsistent with the goals of Medicaid. The decision also defined some boundaries regarding what is and is not appropriate for approval through the Medicaid waiver process.
Missouri’s 1115 waiver program, named the Missouri Mental Health Crisis Prevention Program, was recently submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and is awaiting approval. The goal of Missouri’s waiver is admirable. Unfortunately, this special population waiver program spends more to provide less coverage for fewer people.
This is the first in a series of analyses that examines the impact of efforts by conservative states to use Section 1115 waivers to modify their Medicaid expansions. Our analysis uses data these states report to CMS. First up: How charging Medicaid patients premiums hurts their care and state budgets.