Regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that was signed into law on 3/18 and previously reported in an update:

Today CMS announced that the 6.2% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) bump allowed in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will take effect starting 3/25/2020 and can be applied by states retroactively to January 2020. Please see below for the CMS announcement:

Today, the Trump Administration took steps to implement provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Public Law 116-127) that provide states with enhanced federal Medicaid funding during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) national emergency, including the release of implementation guidance. All Medicaid programs are jointly funded between the state and the federal governments where the federal government pays states for a specified percentage of program expenditures, commonly referred to as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). Section 6008 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides for a possible 6.2 percent increase in the FMAP for each state and territory, including the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. This increase will be retroactive to January 1, 2020 and will continue through the end of the quarter in which the public health emergency for COVID-19 ends. All state Medicaid agencies are eligible for the increased FMAP as long as they adhere to the conditions outlined in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The guidance document released today provides answers questions on various aspects of the FMAP increase to ensure states know how to best obtain and utilize this funding. This guidance answers critical questions for states, including:

  • The timeframe the increased funding will be available,
  • Which costs are eligible for the enhanced funding,
  • The conditions under which states can claim the funds,
  • And the procedures and documentation requirements for access the enhanced funding.

States will receive quarterly grant payments from the federal government. Although certain service categories are excluded, Waiver services are eligible for the enhanced match, and NC will not need to submit a State Plan Amendment to receive the enhanced FMAP.