Also at yesterday’s Appropriations’ Human Services Subcommittee meeting, DSS reported on the HUSKY transition from four fully-capitated managed care organizations to two non-risk bearing companies and fee-for-service. The transition began Jan. 1st. Currently DSS is responsible for all decisions about medical services and MCOs are being paid only to administer the program. The transition was a policy change requiring public accountability and openness in the program; all MCOs who continue to participate in the program will be subject to Freedom of Information laws. WellCare and HealthNet’s 121,000 members will have to switch to either Anthem/Blue Care, CHN or fee-for-service by the end of March; consumer and provider notices have been sent and the HUSKY Infoline is staffed up to take calls. As of Feb. 15th, 56% of switching members chose Anthem/Blue Care, 37% chose CHN, and only 6% chose traditional fee-for-service Medicaid. The 1,524 new HUSKY enrollees have been defaulted into traditional Medicaid. In the meantime, as of Feb. 1st, all pharmacy benefits have been carved out of HUSKY; consumers now have easier access to a significantly larger list of medications than through the MCOs.
These exciting changes offer the potential to re-energize the program and greatly improve access to care for HUSKY families, however, change is never easy. At least one parent is finding the transition confusing.