Monday, December 23, 2019

Utah to Implement Full Medicaid Expansion

Media Contact:
Tom Hudachko
Utah Department of Health

Utah to Implement Full Medicaid Expansion

(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) today received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement full Medicaid expansion in the state. The expansion will extend Medicaid eligibility to Utah adults whose annual income is up to 138% of the federal poverty level ($16,753 for an individual or $34,638 for a family of four). The federal government will cover 90% of the costs of these services, with the state covering the remaining 10%.

Enrollment and coverage for the newly eligible individuals will begin on January 1.
Today’s announcement, along with a smaller-scale expansion implemented last April, means up to 120,000 Utah adults who didn’t qualify for Medicaid at the beginning of 2019 qualify today.

“CMS’s decision is evidence states can craft viable, unique solutions to deliver critical health care services to their residents,” said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. “I want to thank CMS Administrator Seema Verma, along with her dedicated staff, who worked quickly and diligently to approve this request and allow us to expand within the parameters set by our state law.”

“Under Governor Herbert’s exemplary leadership, his state diligently pursued innovative and sustainable solutions to improve the lives of all Utahns,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Local leaders understand how to best design programs that align with their local needs and goals, and I am committed to helping states achieve their goals. I thank the Governor for his strong commitment to delivering impactful results to his state, and look forward to our continued work with Utah as we consider further enhancements to their health care programs.”

Some newly eligible adults will be required to participate in a self-sufficiency requirement in order to receive benefits. Exemptions from the self-sufficiency requirement will be provided for anyone who meets one of 13 exemption criteria, including those who are age 60 or older, pregnant, caring for young children, already working at least 30 hours a week, or students. Those who are subject to the self-sufficiency requirement will need to complete an online job assessment, online training programs, and 48 job searches within the first three months of eligibility. Failure to complete this process will result in termination of benefits. 

In addition, the state will require newly eligible adults to enroll in their employer-sponsored health plan if one is available. Medicaid will then cover the individual’s monthly premium and other out-of-pocket expenses. 

Utah’s waiver request for this expansion included other program components, including premiums and surcharges for those over 100% of the federal poverty level, housing supports, and penalties for intentional program violations. CMS is still reviewing these program components and they may be added to the expansion program if CMS approves them at a later date.

UDOH submitted this expansion request (known as the “Fallback Plan”), at the direction of Senate Bill 96, which was sponsored by Sen. Allen Christen and Rep. Jim Dunnigan. “Over the last couple of years, we have explored and implemented several expansion options,” said Rep. Dunnigan. “This approval is very important for our state budget so we can begin receiving the higher federal match for these services. We look forward to working with CMS to obtain approval of the remaining components of our request so this expansion has the additional supports and cost controls we envisioned.”  

To be eligible for the new program, individuals must be a Utah resident between the ages of 19 and 64, be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and meet income requirements. Information on how to apply for Medicaid can be found at Applications are accepted online, over the phone, or by mail. 

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Rural Utah clinic recognized as a leader in the nation of the Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champions

Congratulations, 2019 Champions!
Million Hearts® has recognized 17 solo practitioners, large health systems, community health centers, and specialty groups as 2019 Hypertension Control Champions. In their work, these Champions were able to achieve blood pressure control for at least 80% of their adult patients with hypertension. Together, the 2019 Champions cared for nearly 360,000 adults.

Alexander Valley Healthcare, Cloverdale, California*
Intermountain Moroni Clinic, Moroni, Utah
Burstein Medical Associates, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Charles City Regional Health Services, Inc., Charles City, Virginia*
Community Health Centers of Southeastern Iowa, Inc., West Burlington, Iowa*
Esperanza Health Centers, Chicago, Illinois*
Gilman Family Practice, Spokane Valley, Washington
Larry S. Hahn, DO, Pinnacle Physicians Group, Trevose, Pennsylvania
Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates PA, Flemington, New Jersey
Nusrat Khan, MD, MBA, CMQ, Medpeds Medical Clinic, PA, Weatherford, Texas
Paul Mantia, MD, Elmhurst, New York
Marshfield Clinic Health System, Marshfield, Wisconsin*
Mercy Health Clinics, LLC (Mercy Health Irvine Primary Care, Mercy Health Powell County Primary Care, Mercy Health Lee County Primary Care), Irvine, Kentucky
Mid-Florida Primary Care, Leesburg, Florida
Edward Rippel, MD, Quinnipiac Internal Medicine, PC, Hamden, Connecticut
University Internal Medicine, Inc., Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Gonzalo Urbano, MD, Brooklyn, New York
* Denotes a health care organization that is or includes a health center funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

MotherToBaby Utah: Best for Moms, Best for Babies-Controlling Diabetes Before Pregnancy


Sunday, December 1, 2019

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day, December 1. Abstract image of planet with vibrant colors.

World AIDS Day - December 1

World AIDS Day, observed each year on December 1, is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died. Started in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day.