October 23, 2020
On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a waiver from Nebraska to provide additional benefits for certain enrollees. The waiver allows Nebraska to implement a test program, which is voluntary and temporary, ending in March of 2026. Under the pilot program, beneficiaries would receive additional coverage for vision, dental and over-the-counter drugs in exchange for attending annual wellness visits and completing health risk assessments.
In addition, these beneficiaries must:
Pregnant women, adults aged 60 and over, children and disabled adults are not eligible to participate in the program.
“The Nebraska demonstration is a unique model designed to provide a voluntary pathway to added benefits for certain adult beneficiaries who participate in wellness activities, as well as work and take part in other community engagement activities,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a statement.
Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states were provided additional funds from the federal government if they expanded Medicaid eligibility to cover anyone who is under 138% of the federal poverty level. Currently, 38 states and the District of Columbia have expanded their Medicaid programs. With the future of the ACA slated for review by the Supreme Court next month, changes in Medicaid could occur, including the disruption of additional coverage offered through the expansion.
This is a developing story. We will provide updates as they occur.
Tensions are high on Capitol Hill as the House and Senate negotiate another stimulus package for those impacted by COVID-19. As the Senate continues the confirmation process for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and members of Congress prepare for the upcoming election, many legislators are looking to push off negotiations until after the election.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been negotiating terms over the past few weeks, which has been slow but steady. Speaker Pelosi told her colleagues the conversation has “yielded common ground as we move closer to agreement.”
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been opposed to developing a package prior to Election Day. He was reported to have warned the White House to drop any efforts to negotiate further. In a closed-door meeting with his colleagues, Sen. McConnell said that Speaker Pelosi was not negotiating in “good faith” with Secretary Mnuchin and would disrupt their plans to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
Given these competing priorities, it is unlikely that a package will be agreed upon before the election. We will keep you posted on any changes or developments in the relief plan.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation announced new members for its preventGEN committee, who began their term this week. The committee advises the Foundation on the perspective of young adults in creating its programming and encouraging this population to take charge of their health to reduce their cancer risk.
Committee members come from varied backgrounds with specialties ranging from marketing and communications to epidemiology. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is critical to keep people engaged in their health care and ensure they are taking steps to remain cancer-free. With the help of the preventGEN committee, the Foundation will utilize innovative programming and messaging to inspire young adults to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!®