Medicaid Cuts Update
Medicaid program to cut some health services in 2011, but Governor restores pharmacy, physical therapy, Take Charge Family Planning
The Washington State Medicaid program on Friday began notifying clients and providers of a revised list of 2011 program cuts.
Among the restored benefits are retail prescription pharmacy, physical, occupational and speech therapies. Governor Christine Gregoire withdrew those threatened cuts when she announced details of her supplemental budget recommendations on Friday, December 17.
Still on the list of immediate cuts are adult eyeglasses and contacts, adult hearing aids, adult dental services except for emergency treatments, all of which the Governor proposes to restore in her 2011 - 2013 budget effective 1 July, 2011. Also on the cut list are school-based services for special education, and an eligibility change that will eliminate coverage for about 27,000 children who are not eligible for Medicaid. All of those cuts are effective January 1 2011, except for the children's coverage, which is scheduled to end on March 1.
The list of Medicaid cuts includes:
Adult Hearing: Includes hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids, and repair of these equipments, parts or batteries.
Adult Podiatry: Ends all foot care when it is not medically necessary to treat an acute condition.
Adult Vision: Applies to hardware (eyeglasses: frames and lenses). Eye exams and medical treatment of the eyes would not be cut.
School-Based Medical Services: Medicaid will no longer reimburse school districts for health care-related services included in a Medicaid enrolled child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Under federal law, these services are the responsibility of school districts.
Medicare Part D Co-Pays: The state will no longer pick up the cost of small prescription co-pays that range from $1 to $5 for Medicaid clients also eligible for Medicare's Part D drug coverage.
Children's Health Program: Ends medical coverage March 1 for 27,000 children whose families meet medical income eligibility but don't qualify for other reasons.
Interpreter services: This program, set for termination on March 1, 2011, provides medically certified interpreters for English-deficient Medicaid clients.
Medical Care for Disability Lifeline and ADATSA: Effective March 1, medical services would end in the Disability Lifeline Program, previously known as General Assistance - Unemployable (GA-U), and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment and Support Act, also known as ADATSA.
Cuts that were restored in the Governor's Supplemental Budget include:
Adult Pharmacy: this cut would have eliminated coverage for outpatient prescription drugs provided by a retail pharmacy for all adult clients (ages 21 and older).
Adult hospice: This program provides comfortable settings and nursing care for end-of-life.
Adult Outpatient Physical, Occupational, Speech therapies will continue for all ages.
First Steps / Maternity Support Services / Infant Case Management / Childbirth Education: Funding to assist high-risk mothers before and after birth would continue, but funding will be cut by 50%.
If you have comments, questions, or complaints about the Medicaid budget cuts, please email medicaid.