NSLHA Legislative Update
106th Legislature, First Session 2019 Legislative Review
Prepared By: Richard Lombardi, Julie Erickson and Eric Gerrard
American Communications Group, Inc.
The 106th Legislature, First Session adjourned sine die 6 days early which was the earliest a session has adjourned in recent history.
LB 15, requiring private insurance coverage for children’s hearing aids with a cap on benefits every two years of $3,000 and exempting insurance companies one year if the cost of coverage exceeds 1% of premiums collected under the plan, passed unanimously this session. Also passing on consent calendar was LB 248, adding deaf and hard of hearing to statutes.
Bills we were monitoring for NSLHA that passed this session: LB 29 expanding types of credential holders that can utilize telehealth services; LB 112 which waives fees for initial credential applications for low income individuals, military families and young workers between the age of 18 and 25; LB 468 delaying long term care facilities from being included under Medicaid managed care program implementation until July 1, 2021 included amended language from LB 566 requiring notice and a legislative hearing for Medicaid waivers – 1332 waivers making changes in the ACA marketplace and 1115 waivers making changes in the Medicaid system, which is how the state plans to implement Medicaid Expansion. LB 404 which divides Medicaid Expansion, Long Term Care and other Medicaid as three separate programs in the budget was included in LB 294.
Medicaid provider rates were increased 2% across the board in the state’s 2 year budget. Developmental Disability providers also received rate increases and were paid a final installment owed by the state of $2.7M for services provided in previous years. Overall school funding increased by an average of 3.6% per year of the biennium budget.
Medicaid Expansion dollars were included in the mainline budget bill, but will not be implemented fully until 2021. The state plans to file an 1115 Innovation Waiver in October 2019 with implementation not planned until the 2020-21 Fiscal year start July 1, 2020. There will be several opportunities to comment on the waiver when it is posted as required by CMS, including a joint hearing before the Health and Human Services Committee and Appropriations Committee to be scheduled in September. The legislature responded to the slow implementation of Medicaid Expansion by passing LB 468, which included a year delay to implement managed care in the long term care system. Additionally, LB 468 also included an amendment which requires a legislative hearing for 1115 Innovation Waivers before submission to CMS (noted above), but also a hearing before submission of 1332 ACA Marketplace Waivers (originally in LB 566). We anticipate the Legislature will deal with the slow implementation of Medicaid Expansion again during the 2020 Legislative Session; it could be fully implemented via the State Plan Amendment (SPA), which has already been filed with CMS.
2019 INTERIM STUDIES
Download the interim study list. They have been assigned and prioritized by each Standing Committee. Those studies not highly prioritized will not likely be conducted.