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New CMS rules might scare away waiver applications

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The Government Accountability Office says that federal rules governing Section 1332 waiver approvals under the Affordable Care Act might discourage states from applying for the program.

The U.S. GAO said stakeholder groups have predicted fewer Section 1332 waiver requests  this year because of application review controls and other complication.,

Modern Healthcare noted that starting Jan. 1, 2017, “states can request waivers for virtually every coverage component of the Affordable Care Act as long as the state’s healthcare coverage is consistent with ACA terms and doesn’t increase the federal deficit.

“But HHS and the Treasury Department issued rules and guidance preventing states from using savings from other federal waivers—like Medicaid waivers—to justify their 1332 applications, and groups have told the GAO that could ‘considerably limit’ the number of requests.”

The GAO said: “Representatives told us that states may be concerned that such proposals may not be able to meet the deficit neutrality criteria for the 1332 waiver independently of the Medicaid waiver.”

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