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Kentucky Medicaid enrollees who work now have the option to enroll in their employer’s health plan — with Medicaid picking up the tab for premiums. State officials say the voluntary program will save Kentucky money, but some health advocates say it has the potential to limit options and add a financial burden for Medicaid recipients.

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Even though most of Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid system are still locked in a court battle, treatment for drug addiction will be expanded under the program starting July 1.


Kentucky’s plan to require some Medicaid enrollees to work won’t roll out next month as planned. Wednesday a federal judge blocked its implementation. This was the second time Governor Matt Bevin and the federal government defended the changes to the insurance program for people with low-incomes. 

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  A federal judge has again struck down Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s changes to the Medicaid program, including community engagement requirements that would have made some people work to keep coverage.

The Medicaid changes were set to partially go into effect April 1. Wednesday’s decision is the second time U.S. District Judge James Boasberg struck down Kentucky’s proposal – the first was in June 2018.



State officials say Passport Health Plan’s calls for a change to its Medicaid reimbursement rates are futile.

It was a Friday afternoon, and a young man — the doctor called him “J” — needed help. J was addicted to heroin. The doctor, Mike Kalfas, had treated him several times before with buprenorphine, a drug that blocks opioid cravings and is part of a class of drugs most successful in keeping patients in recovery.

J had recently gotten out of jail on a drug-related charge, Kalfas said. There, he’d had to stop using buprenorphine because it wasn’t available.

“I wrote him the prescription, and it’s 5:30 p.m. on a Friday when he left my office,” Kalfas told Kentucky lawmakers earlier this month. “About 6:30 p.m. the paper comes over the fax machine, denying his medication.”


State officials in Kentucky have delayed the start of some new eligibility rules for a portion of its Medicaid population.

Kentucky is one of 36 states to expand its Medicaid program under former President Barack Obama's health care law to cover more people. President Donald Trump's administration gave Kentucky permission to require those people to do things like get a job, go to school or do community service work to maintain their coverage. The Bevin administration calls these rules the "community engagement" requirements.


State lawmakers this week grilled representatives of Kentucky’s five Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) over profits the companies make from Medicaid. And one lawmaker said she plans to introduce legislation to better protect providers. 

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A group of Kentuckians is again suing the federal government over the re-approval of Gov. Matt Bevin’s changes to the Medicaid program.

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Between 86,000 and 136,000 Kentuckians could lose their Medicaid health insurance after the state rolls out changes to the program in April, according to an updated analysis from The George Washington University.