(LOUISVILLE, Ky - November 20, 2018) Kentucky received approval today to proceed with implementing the community engagement and premium requirements, among other elements included in the Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid 1115 waiver proposal it had submitted to the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
In May 2018, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky announced a partnership with the Bevin Administration to help Kentuckians maintain health insurance coverage under the Kentucky HEALTH program. Under that partnership, the Foundation committed to offering assistance to pay beneficiary premiums for those who cannot afford them. The Foundation also said it would work with employers and other groups to expand the availability of community engagement activities - including jobs, volunteer positions, substance use treatment and other opportunities that meet the waiver requirements - for Medicaid beneficiaries in every region of the state.
Following are statements from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky:
"The Foundation remains committed to assisting Medicaid beneficiaries with their efforts to understand and comply with the waiver's requirements," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. "It will take a collective effort by the state, providers, community organizations, and all those involved with the new Medicaid waiver to ensure Kentuckians are successful in meeting its requirements, so they do not lose health coverage."
Foundation Vice President for Policy Veronica Cecil added: "While there is much work to do, the Foundation's initial efforts are focused on a premium payment assistance program; a stakeholder workgroup to evaluate program inefficiencies and successes, and recommend resolutions to policy, program or system issues; and a collaboration among local and state officials, employers and community organizations to identify community engagement activities.
"Over the past several months, the Foundation has been meeting regularly with the Administration and key stakeholders to develop strategies to best accomplish its singular goal of helping individuals maintain access to health care coverage. The Foundation will be sharing more detailed information on its efforts to support Medicaid beneficiaries as the Administration moves toward implementation."
Cecil also is executive director of the Kentucky Health Engagement Foundation, established by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to assist with Kentucky HEALTH premium payments.
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested nearly $28 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth