CMS Approves Texas CHIP provisions to assist with Hurricane Harvey disaster relief
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expedited and approved disaster relief provisions for children eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) allowing Texas officials to adjust enrollment, redetermination policies and cost-sharing requirements for families living in or evacuated from areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma today announced that the agency acted quickly to approve this CHIP emergency effort that aligns with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) declaration of disaster counties in Texas. These provisions, retroactive to August 25, 2017, will extend children’s eligibility so they can receive healthcare services beyond their usual renewal period. These provisions are in place until November 30, 2017 and will provide much needed help to enrolled children in these counties. The state’s request applies to all FEMA declared counties with the flexibility to go broader if necessary.
“In light of the emergency efforts underway we were able to accelerate and approve the state’s proposal in less than 24 hours,” Verma said. “We understand that this event has disrupted the lives of millions of Americans and we are working to expedite the states’ request to ensure that children enrolled in CHIP do not experience interruptions in their health coverage.”
These efforts are part of the agency’s ongoing response to support patients, evacuees and others enrolled in CMS programs that are misplaced by flood waters, lack of electricity and other shortfalls created through the hurricane and flooding. The CHIP emergency effort gives the state the ability to take the following actions for enrollees in FEMA declared disaster counties in Texas:
- Provide enrollees extended eligibility, allowing them to receive coverage beyond their renewal period.
- Streamline their application and renewal processes by waiving certain verification requirements and allowing self-attestation.
- Waive co-payments for children’s health care services.
- Waive the enrollment fee, a required payment for health coverage.Verma added, “our goal is to offer states affected by Hurricane Harvey a burden free, streamlined process for receiving approvals.”
Earlier this week, CMS announced that the agency has taken steps to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries with renal diseases and in areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey have greater access to the dialysis facilities and care they need. By temporarily designating dialysis facilities licensed in Texas and Louisiana, but not yet certified to provide care for Medicare beneficiaries, as “Special Purposes Dialysis Facilities,” residents in those states can get access to critical, life-saving services.
CMS continues to work closely with Texas and Louisiana to support their needs with respect to CMS programs and issues impacting Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The agency continues to update its emergency page (http://www.cms.gov/emergency) with important information for state and local officials, providers, healthcare facilities and the public.
To read previous updates regarding HHS activities related to Hurricane Harvey, please visit https://www.hhs.gov/about/news.
To learn more about HHS resources related to Hurricane Harvey, please visit https://www.hhs.gov/hurricane-harvey. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org