The County Voice

Twin Waiver Bills See Daylight

The state’s effort to negotiate a new Section 1115 Medicaid waiver grinds on with dual hearings on identical bills next week.

AB 342, by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, and SB 208, by Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, are identical bills that outline the state’s Section 1115 Waiver proposal to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

AB 342 will be heard by the Senate Health Committee on June 30, and SB 208 will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on June 29.

Counties will be listening intently to the proceedings, as we play a key role in the waiver proposal, both as essential providers of care to the Medi-Cal population and as a funding source, since the proposal assumes that county funds can be used as a match for drawing down federal reimbursement. Other key issues include the structure and financing for county coverage initiatives and the potential interplay between serving seniors and those with disabilities and the In-Home Supportive Services program.  

Although the bills are going through the policy committee process, they cannot be finalized until the state and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) agree on Terms and Conditions for the waiver. The state’s goal of finishing the waiver by August 31 is one that counties strongly support.

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