The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued tough language to state Medicaid programs as it relates to recently announced coronavirus emergency aid, Inside Health Policy reported.
The government specifically warned states that if they want to receive enhanced federal matching funds available through the aid package, they must not terminate anyone from the program as of March 18. They also must cover all testing and treatment related to COVID-19 without any cost-sharing.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act injects a temporary 6.2 percentage point increase to the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage that states receive from the federal government. The enhanced FMAP is available for qualifying expenditures incurred between Jan. 1, 2020, and the end of the quarter in which a public health emergency, including any extensions, ends.
CMS also requires that a state maintain eligibility standards that are just as, or less, restrictive than what the state had in place as of Jan. 1. States also must refrain from charging premiums that exceed any premiums that were in place on Jan. 1.
The Trump administration has been accused of trying to cut Medicaid benefits and access through actions such as the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR) and the Healthy Adult Opportunity block-grant program. Nursing home operators have opposed both regulatory moves.