In an unprecedented move, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a 10-year extension of a Medicaid waiver in Mississippi on Thursday.
The demonstration project expands eligibility for family planning services to individuals ages 13 to 44 who earn equal to or less than 194% of the federal poverty level, and are not enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or any other “creditable health insurance coverage” that offers family planning services, according to an agency press release.
“This is the first 10-year demonstration extension in the history of CMS, and allows Mississippi to administer its Medicaid program without the inconvenience of obtaining routine approvals from CMS,” Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.
This approval aligns with Verma’s vision for Medicaid, which she announced during a speech in early November and that included minimizing the regulatory burden, improving efficiency, and increasing transparency. It also focused on community engagement, or work requirements.
The waiver would limit monitoring requirements to a yearly reporting cycle, and institute a “new, streamlined template” for the purpose of monitoring and reporting.
Mississippi is one of 18 states that as of mid-November had not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to residents at or below 138% of the FPL, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.