by Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal –
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Kentucky’s Medicaid program has undergone several major changes in recent weeks, confusing health providers and some of the 1.4 million Kentuckians covered by the government health plan. Here’s a look at the major developments.
June 29: A federal judge strikes down Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program, adding work requirements, premiums and other changes aimed at “able-bodied” adults, mostly those among the nearly 500,000 Kentuckians added to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The plan, known as Kentucky HEALTH, was to take effect July 1.
July 1: The state notifies people affected by the changes that they will not take effect immediately because of the ruling by a federal judge in Washington D.C.
Also, on July 1, the state cuts Medicaid dental, vision and non-emergency transportation services for up to 460,000 Kentuckians. And it enacts new, mandatory copays on a host of Medicaid services including visits to the doctor or dentist, prescription drugs, physical therapy and hospital stays.
July 19: Amid a growing uproar over cuts to dental, vision and transportation services, the state announces it will restore such benefits for now, making them retroactive to July 1. The dental cuts had sparked particular concern among patients and dentists over conditions they said could be life-threatening, such as tooth decay, infection and abscesses.
Also, on July 19, the Bevin administration sends its proposal to overhaul Medicaid back to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) seeking another round of review and possible approval for the plan the judge previously struck down. CMS is accepting public comments on the plan through Aug. 18.
July 26: Amid growing confusion about the new copays mandated by the state for Medicaid patients, the Bevin administration decided to suspend copays for now, effective Aug. 1.