The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has been making the claim to persuade states to adopt the reform law's Medicaid expansion, and HHS has now made it official--the agency will pay 100 percent of the costs for states to cover newly eligible Medicaid patients for the next three years, according to new rule issued Friday.
After the first three years, the agency's contribution toward states' Medicaid costs will gradually decrease to 90 percent in 2020.
"This is a great deal for states and great news for Americans," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more Americans will have access to health coverage and the federal government will cover a vast majority of the cost."
The regulation, which will take effect next January, also describes the so-called "simple and accurate method" states will use to claim the federal dollars, which HHS will make available to cover "newly eligible" consumers with incomes up to 133 percent of poverty.
HHS said in the rule that states will see receive more resources and flexibility to test new care delivery methods, collaborate with other states to identify Medicaid fraud and improve their Medicaid programs without undergoing a waiver process.