Last November, voters passed Prop 3 to fully expand Medicaid, but legislators passed a new law (SB 96) to significantly alter Prop 3 by reducing the number of covered individuals and including work requirements and per capita caps. These changes require the state to file for waivers to ask the federal government for permission to implement all alterations that are inconsistent with current federal guidelines. That includes a waiver specifically to request per capita caps.
Public input on these waivers is critical to help state and federal agents understand how they impact real Utahns every day. Two public hearings will be held to collect public input regarding this specific waiver, including one TOMORROW, June 6th from 2:00-4:00pm.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Attend a public hearing to have a voice in per capita caps on Medicaid. There are two scheduled: June 6th from 2-4p and June 17th from 4-6p at the Utah Department of Health
- Can’t attend a public hearing? Submit a public comment directly, either online here or via email at Medicaid1115waiver@utah.gov. Utah Health Policy Project is also collecting Medicaid stories that will be entered in as public comment. If you would like to submit your health care story, click here.
What is a Per Capita Cap?
This is a mechanism that limits the amount of federal dollars that can come in to the state for the Medicaid program. This is good for predicting federal spending on Medicaid, but bad for the states, as the caps do not allow for increases in health care costs, which currently are rising at a very rapid rate.
Why is it a problem?
Under a per capita cap structure, the state receives a limited amount of federal dollars (like in a block grant), and in exchange, receives permission to make cuts to Medicaid that are normally not allowable.
Per capita caps make it harder to provide services during emergencies or economic recession
Per capita caps negatively impact the people who need services the most, such as low-income seniors and people with disabilities. (You can read more about per capita caps here.)
To learn more about Medicaid Expansion or apply for Medicaid, click here.