Public hearings to be held Tuesday in Bowling Green, Wednesday in Frankfort and next week in Hazard plan for Medicaid changes

Public hearings on Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan to change the Medicaid program will be held Tuesday in Bowling Green, Wednesday in Frankfort and next week in Hazard.

The Bowling Green hearing will be held Tuesday, June 28, from 10 a.m. to noon Central Time at Western Kentucky University‘s Knicely Conference Center Auditorium, 2355 Nashville Road. Speakers will include Health
and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, Medicaid Commissioner Steve Miller and Adam Meier, Bevin’s deputy chief of staff. For
those unable to attend, it will be live online via

The Frankfort hearing will be a special meeting of the state Advisory Council for Medical Assistance. It will be held Wednesday, June 29, from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT in the State Capitol Annex.

The Hazard hearing will be held Wednesday, July 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT in Room 208 of the Jolly Classroom Center at Hazard Community and Technical College, 1 Community College Drive.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services will accept written comments on the proposal until Friday, July 22, 2016 at 5 p.m. EDT. Comments can be mailed to: Commissioner Stephen Miller, Department for Medicaid Services, 275 E. Main St., Frankfort KY 40621, or sent by email to

Among other things, the plan would:

  • Require able-bodied adults on Medicaid to pay monthly premiums, on a sliding scale based on the federal poverty level. Those with incomes under 25 percent of the FPL would pay $1 per month; those at 25 to 50 percent of the FPL would pay $4 per month; and those from 51 to 100 percent of the FPL would pay $8.00 per month. Those from 101 to 138 percent of the FPL would pay $15 per month during the first two years; $22.50 in the third year, $30 in the fourth year and $37.50 afterward. Co-payments for doctor visits and other services would be eliminated.
  • Remove dental and vision care from the basic Medicaid package but allow enrollees to earn access to such coverage, as well as non-prescription drugs and gym-membership subsidies, by enrolling in job training, volunteer work or health-related classes.
  • Require working-age adult enrollees without dependents to have a job, look for one, take job training or participate in volunteer work, on a gradually increasing scale.
  • Fund inpatient substance-abuse treatment, something Gov. Matt Bevin said no other state has done with Medicaid, in 10 to 20 “high risk” counties that have not been chosen.

Bevin’s proposal says it “represents the terms under which the Commonwealth will continue Medicaid expansion,” and he said that if federal officials don’t approve it, he would end the expansion, which provides largely free health care for about 400,000 Kentuckians.

But he said he was confident that federal officials would approve the request.

Bevin’s special adviser for Medicaid, UK HealthCare Vice President Mark Birdwhistell, said the administration hopes to submit the proposal for federal approval by Aug. 1 and start the program by Oct. 1. That appears to be an ambitious schedule. “Past negotiations with states that have used alternative methods to expand Medicaid have taken months, and the department says they will keep talking with state officials for as long as it takes to have a policy that is acceptable to both parties,” Morning Consult reports.

Kentucky Voices for Health, which has been critical of the plan and the early scheduling of hearings, has issued a “fact sheet” for distribution to Medicaid enrollees.

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