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posted on June 13, 2014 01:01

The Idaho workgroup evaluating possible redesign of Medicaid services for low-income adults will reconvene on Wednesday, June 18, to review state data and Medicaid redesign options other states are pursuing.  The meeting will be in Boise from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the State Capitol building, Room EW40.

In July 2012, Governor C.L “Butch” Otter appointed 15 people from the public and private sectors to evaluate the potential impact to Idaho if the state provides a healthcare plan for low-income adults under Medicaid oversight.

Idaho adults with incomes below 100 percent of poverty were left with few options for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, leaving many to apply for assistance through the state and county catastrophic and indigent healthcare programs. There are approximately 77,000 Idaho adults with incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level who do not have insurance coverage opportunities.  

Gov. Otter has said repeatedly that he is not interested in expanding the current Medicaid program, but is asking the workgroup to explore other options.  Some alternatives include a private option in which coverage is purchased on the open market through the state exchange, or a redesign of the state Medicaid plan that includes participant accountability, with a focus on managed care to improve outcomes and reduce unnecessary costs.

During the upcoming workgroup meeting, Joanne Jee from the National Academy for State Health Policy will provide members with an overview of Medicaid redesign efforts occurring across the country. Idaho Medicaid’s Paul Leary will compare the benefits and liabilities of the private option versus Medicaid redesign possibilities, with a private actuarial firm providing a cost analysis report. Sen. Steve Thayn, a legislative member of workgroup, is scheduled to provide an alternative approach to Medicaid redesign.

The workgroup is expected to meet several times over the summer, and will submit a report of their findings and recommendations to Gov. Otter by Sept. 1. 

The agenda for the workgroup meeting is available here.  For people who cannot attend the meeting, audio streaming is available at http://idahoptv.org/insession/leg.cfm; please choose “Venue” then “EW40” and  any of the committees listed to listen.