Friday Five: Recent Medicaid expansion mostly in northern and western states

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December 07, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about anticipated changes to SNAP, funding for child care assistance, work requirements in New Hampshire, the coverage gap in southern states, and an IRS pilot for IT modernization.

1. The Farm Bill’s winners and losers

Congress is expected to vote on the final text of the Farm Bill, which includes Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, next week. According to this blog in Forbes, it is not anticipated that stricter work requirements will be added to SNAP, but approximately 1 million households could experience a drop in monthly benefits due to a change in how utility expenses and income are calculated.

2. $42M in child care block grant will help Kentucky families, providers

Kentucky recently received a $42 million block grant to use for their Child Care Assistance Program. According to the Lane Report, funds will be used to raise provider reimbursement rates, allow more families to qualify for child care assistance, and allow parents attending school or job training programs to bypass the work requirement. The funding is anticipated to allow more families to stay in or join the workforce.

3. Feds OK NH work rule for certain Medicaid recipients   

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved New Hampshire’s Medicaid waiver request. As the Union Leader reports, the waiver extends Medicaid expansion in the state for five more years and implements work requirements for able-bodied adults. New Hampshire is one of five states that have a waiver allowing Medicaid work requirements.

4. Significant gains for Medicaid expansion, yet inequities remain

In this blog published by CLASP, the author applauds the recent victories achieved by Medicaid expansion proponents in northern and western states. However, she argues that the lack of expansion in Southern states creates unequal access to health care, insurance, and protection from medical bankruptcy particularly on minorities in Southern states.

5. IRS pilot program looks to jumpstart IT innovation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a request for information for its “Pilot IRS” program. As reported by FCW, this program would create a more streamlined procurement process and incremental approach to identifying, testing and implementing technological advances.