Word From Washington: Surprise Medical Billing & SC Medicaid Work Requirements

HFA joined with other national patient and consumer groups to issue a number of statements on important health policy topics this week.

  • HFA and 26 other national groups applauded news of a bipartisan agreement on surprise medical billing between the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Dec. 11, 2019). The patient groups urged Congressional leaders to pass this important legislation before the end of the year.
  • Days later, news emerged of renewed efforts to slow down passage of the surprise medical billing HFA and two dozen other national groups wrote to President Trump and to House and Senate leadershipasking them to act now to pass surprise billing legislation before the holidays. (Dec. 13, 2019).
  • HFA and 20 other national groups expressed grave concern over the federal government’s announcement that it has approved a work reporting requirement in connection with South Carolina’s Medicaid program. South Carolina is one of 14 states that have chosen not to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all low-income adults. This week’s announcement from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services marks the first time that CMS has approved a work reporting requirement program in a non-Medicaid expansion state. CMS’s decision, the patient groups warned, will jeopardize vital health care coverage for thousands of South Carolinians with serious and chronic health conditions (Dec. 12, 2019).

    • South Carolina has not yet announced its timetable for implementing its newly-approved work reporting requirement. Litigation has blocked and/or deterred implementation of work reporting requirements in other states.