CHFS Statement on Kentucky HEALTH Ruling

Posted March 29, 2019

Press release issued by the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Contact: Beth Fisher
(502) 564-7042, ext. 3101

CHFS Statement on Kentucky HEALTH Ruling

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 27, 2019) – Secretary Adam Meier of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) released the following statement regarding the Commonwealth’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver, known as Kentucky HEALTH:

“The judge illogically concluded that Medicaid is all about paying for healthcare for as many people as possible without regard to whether this coverage actually makes people healthier. We emphatically disagree because a healthcare program like Medicaid, by its very nature, must take into account whether it improves people’s health. That’s the whole point.

“In Kentucky, we want more than to simply give someone a Medicaid card they can put in their wallet—we want a program that focuses on actually improving health outcomes. And that is what Kentucky HEALTH was designed to do. Kentucky HEALTH is precisely in line with the objectives of the Medicaid program and squarely within the authority of the HHS Secretary to approve.

“Although a setback to our implementation schedule, we believe that we have an excellent record for appeal and are currently considering next steps.”

The Kentucky HEALTH program will not begin on April 1, 2019. The Cabinet continues to collaborate with front-line staff at the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and Kentucky Career Centers (KCCs), as well as Application Assisters, community organizations, employers, and advocacy groups to increase the overall health and well-being of Kentucky.

Beneficiaries will continue to have the same coverage and benefits. Beneficiaries
received a Notice of Eligibility, titled “Notice About Your Coverage,” in March 2019.
Due to this legal decision, the information about Kentucky HEALTH in the Notices of
Eligibility is now outdated. For the most up-to-date information about coverage and
benefits, beneficiaries should contact their Managed Care Organization or login to benefind.ky.gov.

For more information, please see the Program Update document, available on the Kentucky HEALTH website at KentuckyHEALTH.ky.gov.

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The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state’s human services and healthcare programs, including the Department for Medicaid Services, the Department for Community Based Services the Department for Public Health, the Department for Aging and Independent Living and the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full- and part-time employees located across the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.