Minnesota Medical Association: State Seeks Waiver From CMS to Help COVID-19 Response
Targeted News Service
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 27 -- The Minnesota Medical Association issued the following news:
On March 23, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) requested that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) grant the state some additional flexibility to manage the state's public health insurance programs - Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare - in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the letter requesting the waiver, DHS Medicaid Director Matt Anderson asked for a range of waivers to help Minnesota continue to provide health care services to low-income Minnesotans. The Social Security Act allows states to seek waivers from federal requirements when an emergency declaration has been issued.
Among the dozens of requests in the letter include:
* Provide Medicaid eligibility for uninsured individuals and to cover tests, labs, and related provider visits necessary for the diagnosis of COVID-19, as well as for necessary treatment for individuals with a positive diagnosis. No cost sharing or premiums will be applied.
* Flexibility to remove or reduce potential barriers to service delivery, including prior authorization requirements, limits on the number of patient encounters that can be delivered via telemedicine, and removing or expanding limits on early prescription refills for covered drugs.
* Waivers of or revisions to premiums and cost-sharing, and to continue coverage when premiums are not paid.
* Extension of reasonable opportunity periods and application and renewal processing time, delaying renewal processing, delaying action on changes that might negatively affect eligibility.
* Allow health care providers to deliver care in alternative settings, including shelters and mobile-
CMS has not acted on this waiver request, but it has been making decisions for other states within four or five days following the request.