4 Medicaid expansion updates

From Georgia suing the Biden administration to extend the state's partially expanded program to a Florida group launching a ballot initiative, here are four state Medicaid expansion updates Becker's has reported since Feb. 2: 

1. Mississippi lawmakers on Feb. 19 introduced a bill that would expand Medicaid for an estimated 250,000 residents. The proposal would require recipients to have a job, seek employment or pay some form of premium for care. 

The state's governor, Tate Reeves,has been a staunch opponent of Medicaid expansion, however. 

2. The chairwoman of the Kansas House's Health and Human Services Committee said she will hold a hearing on Gov. Laura Kelly's Medicaid expansion proposal, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported Feb. 11. 

Ms. Kelly's proposal includes work requirements. Under the plan, residents would have to prove they are employed in order to sign up for services and renew them each year. The state's health secretary would develop exceptions to allow enrollments for full-time students, caretakers, veterans and those with medical conditions.  

The hearing will be the first the Legislature has held on Medicaid expansion since 2020, according to the report.

3. Georgia is suing the Biden administration to keep the state's partially expanded Medicaid expansion program running until Sept. 30, 2028. 

The state alleges CMS stole time from the program and that it should be allowed to operate longer than its intended date of Sept. 30, 2025, according to the report. In July 2023, Georgia launched the Pathways to Coverage program, which is the only Medicaid waiver program in the U.S. with work requirements. It has been slow to gain participants.  

The state previously asked CMS to amend the existing agreement to give the program more time due to earlier delays the program faced, according to the report. The state has not requested a formal extension, which would include a public comment period. 

4. A campaign to put a Medicaid expansion proposal to Florida voters is underway. 

Florida Decides Healthcare is seeking to raise $12 million to fund work to collect signatures to get the issue on the ballot in 2026. The initiative would require 1 million signatures from state residents and approval from the state Supreme Court to appear on ballots, and more than 60% of voters would have to approve the initiative for it to take effect. 

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