Alternative Benefit Plans for the Medicaid Expansion Population

Alternative Benefit Plans for the Medicaid Expansion Population

Executive Summary

Alternative Benefit Plans (ABPs), formerly known as Medicaid benchmarks, have existed since the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 gave states the authority to develop alternative Medicaid benefit packages for select groups of Medicaid beneficiaries. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), only a few states had selected this option. But the ACA brought new significance to ABPs by making them the benefit packages offered to the newly eligible Medicaid expansion population.
To date most states participating in the Medicaid expansion have aligned their ABP for the expansion population with their Medicaid state plan benefits. This fact sheet provides an overview of aligned and non-aligned benefits, trends in approved ABPs for the expansion population, and other important considerations and tools for advocates.

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