The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has denied a request from the state of Kansas to impose a lifetime limit on the Medicaid benefits individuals may receive.
In a move that the agency appeared to signal last week and that appears to have national implications, CMS administrator Seema Verma explained that
We have determined that we will not approve Kansas’ recent request to place a lifetime limit on Medicaid benefits for some beneficiaries…We seek to create a pathway out of poverty, but we also understand that people’s circumstances change, and we must ensure that our programs are sustainable and available to them when they need and qualify for them.
Medicaid advocates feared that benefit limits would follow in the footsteps of the recent efforts of some states to impose work requirements on many Medicaid participants – efforts that, in some cases, have proven successful.
Such a decision, if it becomes policy, would be beneficial for Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals. These hospitals serve more Medicaid patients than the typical hospital and would therefore be more likely to encounter patients whose eligibility would be jeopardized by a limit on lifetime Medicaid benefits.
Learn more about Medicaid lifetime benefit limits and the CMS decision in this article in the online publication The Hill.