With the passage of SB 96 (the bill that significantly altered Prop 3, the Medicaid Ballot Initiative) the state is required to submit a variety of waivers to the federal government asking permission to implement the alterations that are not consistent with current federal guidelines. This waiver request will include a request to implement per capita caps.
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.)
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Submit a public comment directly either online: https://medicaid.utah.
gov/1115-waiver or via email: Medicaid1115waiver@utah.gov
- Attend a public hearing. There are two scheduled: June 6th from 2-4p and June 17th from 4-6p at the Utah Department of Health
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.
To learn more about Medicaid Expansion or apply for Medicaid, click here.