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Despite advocate hopes, federal agency will not prevent return of Medicaid premiums

A blue stethoscope is curled into a circle, sitting on a countertop.
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The state said it will release its plan for the return of Medicaid premiums in January.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will not take action on Indiana’s authority to charge premiums for Medicaid — at least for now.

Medicaid advocates asked CMS to prevent the return of premiums in 2024. CMS said taking away this authority now would be too disruptive, but it reserves the right to take action in the future.

Premiums, or POWER accounts, were paused during the continuous coverage period due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

READ MORE: Indiana Medicaid program is $1 billion more expensive after forecasting error

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CMS said it has concerns with premium requirements for Medicaid based on evidence suggesting they “reduce access to coverage and care.” However, it said this decision “aims to minimize” disruptions to the state’s focus on the Medicaid unwinding period.

The state said it will release its plan for the return of Medicaid premiums in January.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.