Kentucky Cuts Vision, Dental Benefits for 460,000 People

03 Julio, 2018, 04:53 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • Ky. governor cancels Medicaid dental, vision benefits after losing work requirement ruling | TheHill

Matt Bevin is cutting dental and vision coverage for almost a half-million people after his Medicaid overhaul plan was rejected in court.

The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services says the cuts in coverage are an "unfortunate consequence" of the federal judge's ruling last week.

"This is an unfortunate effect of the judge's ruling", Doug Hogan, communications director for the Cabinet of Health and Family Services, wrote in an email.

The state's health and family services cabinet on Monday said Bevin's administration is "working through the impacts".

"We call for thoughtful discussions involving the administration and the many statewide stakeholders in the path forward in assuring Kentucky's working families have health care", Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the Bevin administration's "short-sighted" actions are already causing confusion and hardships. Because of that, Boasberg said the Trump administration's decision was "arbitrary and capricious". "And that's just unacceptable for government to be operating this way".

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"We know that untreated dental pain is a huge gateway to addiction to painkillers", Jenkins said.

The court ruling on Friday was a major setback for Bevin's proposal and for the Trump administration's efforts to allow states to impose Medicaid work requirements more broadly.

Cabinet Secretary Adam Meier also has said recently that without Kentucky HEALTH, the state wouldn't be able to afford to cover the expanded Medicaid population and would probably have to remove dental and vision coverage for them.

But Bevin, elected in 2015, said the program was too expensive to continue.

Democrats denounced the move and said they did not think Bevin had the legal authority to cancel the benefits. He said Kentucky faces a $300 million shortfall in Medicaid over the next two years, and the new rules would have helped the state save money. In this community, it could mean the loss of healthcare coverage for as many as 80,000 people.

"When Kentucky HEALTH was struck down by the court, the 'My Rewards Account program was invalidated, meaning there is no longer a legal mechanism in place to pay for dental and vision coverage for about 460,000 beneficiaries who have been placed in the Alternative Benefit Plan", Hogan wrote in an email. It also said only small percentages of Medicaid recipients have taken advantage of routine vision and dental coverage in the past.

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