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For Immediate Release
September 30, 2016

Julie Naughton, Public Information Officer, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-1695 or (cell) 402-405-7202,

CMS Approval Paves the Way For On-time Implementation of Heritage Health

Lincoln—A waiver approval from Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gives the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services the official federal go-ahead to roll out Heritage Health on January 1, 2017.
The approval of the waiver marks the latest milestone for Medicaid’s new integrated managed care delivery system, which will operate statewide and cover physical health, behavioral health and pharmacy services for enrolled members. The state contracts with three health plans, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Nebraska, Nebraska Total Care (Centene) and WellCare of Nebraska, to administer these services.
“We'd like to thank our federal partners at the central and regional offices of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for working with our team to gain timely approval of this waiver amendment to ensure that Heritage Health will move ahead as scheduled on January 1st,” said Calder Lynch, director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care. “This approval further demonstrates the state’s preparedness for a successful implementation of this important program."
Nebraska Medicaid and the health plans continue other implementation activities to ensure a successful program launch on January 1st. For example:

  • Enrollment materials began to be sent out to members this month and will continue through the fall. Members have until December 1st to select a plan or be auto-assigned to a plan, although we encourage members to act early.
  • The health plans will be touring the state in October and November to provide important training for health care providers.
  • Readiness review activities have begun, including auditing of health plan policies and planned on-site audits of health plan systems.
A copy of the approval letter from CMS can be accessed here:
Additional information and resources for Heritage Health, including frequently asked questions documents, one-pagers, and recorded webinars, are available at Interested individuals are encouraged to subscribe to this website to receive future updates and notifications.