Nebraska Medicaid Program

Nebraska Medicaid Reform

Legislation
Summary of Legislative Bill 709

LB 709 provides legislative findings relating to the increased expenditures of Medicaid. Also, the Legislature finds that the Medicaid program provides essential health care and long-term coverage to low-income children, pregnant women and families, individuals with disabilities, and senior citizens serving over one in ten Nebraskans.

The purpose of this act is to provide for reform of the Medicaid program and a substantive recodification of statutes relating to this program, including, but not limited to, the enactment of policies to:


PDFFull text of LB 709

1) moderate the growth of Medicaid spending, 2) ensure future sustainability of the Medicaid program for Nebraska residents, 3) establish priorities and ensure flexibility in the allocation of Medicaid benefits, and 4) provide alternatives to Medicaid eligibility for Nebraska residents.

The intent of the Legislature is to provide for the development of a Medicaid reform plan for the State of Nebraska and the enactment of necessary and appropriate legislation to implement such plan. It is the intent of the Legislature that such plan consider and address:
  • the needs of low-income, disabled, and aged persons currently receiving Medicaid services
  • avoiding the shifting of the primary costs of health care services to providers of care
  • the appropriate role of county government in providing health care services
  • the availability and affordability of private health care insurance and long-term care insurance
  • the personal responsibility of persons, who are able, to select and provide for all or a portion of the payment for their health care services
  • fiscal sustainability of such plan
  • alternatives to increase federal funding for services in order to reduce dependence on General Funds and maintain or increase the total amount of funding for such services, and the possible utilization of national consultants to assist in the consideration of such alternatives

The Governor and the chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee shall designate one person who shall be responsible to the Governor and the committee for the development of a Medicaid reform plan. This plan shall be developed in consultation with the Governor, committee, Policy Cabinet, and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Public input shall be solicited and at least one public meeting shall be conducted in each congressional district during the preparation and prior to submission of the plan.

Monthly reports shall be provided to the Governor and the committee during preparation of the plan. Such reports shall be reviewed by the Medicaid Reform Advisory Council established in this act and shall be available to the public. This plan shall be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature before December 1, 2005 and shall include recommendations for the development of Medicaid plan amendments and waivers and draft legislation necessary to support such plan. The committee shall conduct a public hearing on or before December 15, 2005, to receive public input regarding this plan.

LB 709 creates the Medicaid Reform Advisory Council. This council shall consist of five persons appointed by the chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee and five persons appointed by the Governor. The council shall consist of, but not limited to, at least one representative from each of the following classes of persons: health care providers, health care consumers and consumer advocates, business representatives, insurers, and elected officials.

This council shall meet monthly with persons designated by the Governor and the chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee and shall review monthly reports submitted by such designee. Minutes of these meetings shall be available to the public and provided to the Governor and members of the Health and Human Services Committee.

This council shall review the Medicaid reform plan and shall provide recommendations relating to the plan to the Governor and the Legislature on or before December 14, 2005. Members of this council shall serve without compensation for such service, but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses.

The chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee, in consultation with the committee, may prepare and introduce legislation next session to implement the Medicaid reform plan.

This bill adopts the Long-Term Care Partnership Program Development Act. The purpose of this act is to provide for the development of a plan to establish a long-term care partnership program in Nebraska and the enactment of necessary and appropriate legislation to implement such plan and program. Legislative findings are provided.

The Health and Human Services System (DHHS) and the Department of Insurance, in consultation with the Health and Human Services Committee, shall prepare a plan for the establishment of a long-term care partnership program in Nebraska. This plan shall be submitted to the Governor and Legislature by December 1, 2005.

In preparing this plan, DHHS and the Department of Insurance shall analyze partnership programs established by states prior to enactment of federal restrictions on the establishment of such programs. The chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee, in consultation with members of the committee, may prepare and introduce legislation, next session, to implement this plan.

LB 709 became effective June 3, 2005.


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