FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has announced that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the Commonwealth’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver known as Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health). CMS provided guidance that the newly approved program can begin as soon as April 1, 2019. Accordingly, the PATH (Partnering to Advance Training and Health) Community Engagement component will be rolled out regionally over several months beginning no sooner than April 1, 2019.
“Kentucky HEALTH offers a customized path based on individual needs that will help beneficiaries gain better health, engagement in their communities, improved employability, and success through long-term independence,” said CHFS Secretary Adam Meier. “This individualized approach affords flexibility and procedural protections that will ensure Medicaid is able to provide beneficiaries access to services and opportunities, while utilizing a holistic approach to addressing barriers and challenges that affect overall health.”
“Kentucky HEALTH creates an opportunity for Kentuckians to actively engage in their health as well as gain new skills to help transition them successfully into Kentucky’s workforce,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Derrick K. Ramsey. “Through PATH Community Engagement, we are creating additional pathways to help connect individuals with long-term employment opportunities and training services using programs, resources, and tools that are available in local communities.”
Kentucky HEALTH is an innovative approach that will put Kentuckians on a path to better health, and is key to ensuring the long-term viability of the Medicaid program. Kentucky HEALTH is not a one-size-fits-all program. It includes new opportunities for beneficiaries to earn rewards for healthy activities through the My Rewards Account, introduces premiums for some individuals to have a stake in their health care services, and requires some adults who are able to participate in community engagement activities that will lead to improved long-term health and increased career opportunities.
The program also includes expanded access to Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment for Medicaid beneficiaries, a fully-funded $1,000 Deductible Account to help beneficiaries track their healthcare spending and show the cost of healthcare services, and the Kentucky Integrated Health Insurance Premium Payment (KI-HIPP) program that lets Medicaid help beneficiaries pay for the cost of private health insurance.
In addition, initial Kentucky HEALTH estimates project that the program will save the Medicaid program in excess of $2 billion dollars during the five-year demonstration period, with more than $300 million in savings to Kentucky’s General Fund, and will help ensure availability of Medicaid resources to the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens. Additional details regarding the implementation of Kentucky HEALTH will be available in the coming weeks.