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March 23, 2020

Arizona Medicaid Program Receives Authority to Implement Program Changes to Address COVID-19

Arizona’s Medicaid agency today received federal approval to implement programmatic changes to help ensure access to health care for kids and vulnerable Arizonans.

Arizona was one of the first states to submit a request to waive certain Medicaid and KidsCare (CHIP) program requirements in order to address the COVID-19 outbreak. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved components of Arizona’s request under the 1135 Waiver. Under the waiver, AHCCCS will be able to strengthen the provider workforce, remove barriers to care for AHCCCS members, enhance Medicaid services and supports for vulnerable members, and remove burdensome cost-sharing and other administrative requirements.

“There is no greater priority than the health and safety of Arizonans,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Working with our federal partners, Arizona is increasing flexibility for health care providers and ensuring access to health care for our state’s most vulnerable populations during this unprecedented national emergency.”

CMS approved the agency’s request to relax some administrative requirements, including but not limited to:

The allowances from CMS grant broad authority to Arizona to tailor changes to best serve its citizens. AHCCCS will make decisions about how and when these changes will be implemented in the coming days. The agency awaits direction from CMS regarding additional requested flexibilities.

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