January 1st marked the start of new Medicaid plans for 2021. This year, there are several changes and updates to the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) providing health, behavioral health, and oral health coverage for Kentuckians. 

A new MCO, United Healthcare, has been approved and began providing coverage in 2021. Any new Medicaid members who did not select an MCO have been automatically assigned to United Healthcare. United Healthcare has also been designated as the primary provider for those who are Presumptive Eligibility Medicaid members. However, this coverage is temporary and will expire on March 31, 2021. To maintain coverage, Presumptive Eligibility Medicaid members are encouraged to complete a full Medicaid application in the Kynect portal. Presumptive Eligibility Medicaid members will have the option to change their MCO after completing and receiving approval of a full Medicaid application.

Aetna Better Health of Kentucky has begun administering the Supporting Kentucky Youth (SKY) program. This means that children and youth in foster care, in out-of-home care (OOHC), children receiving adoption assistance, dually involved youth, and former foster care youth will be enrolled with Aetna for their Medicaid coverage, including oral health coverage with Avesis. SKY participants will remain covered by Aetna and do not have the option to change their MCO. 

All Kentucky Medicaid members have access to oral health coverage. Avesis provides oral health coverage with Aetna, Wellcare, Passport by Molina Healthcare, and Humana. United Healthcare provides oral health coverage within their plan and DentaQuest provides coverage for Anthem members.

As a reminder, there are six MCOs providing Medicaid coverage in Kentucky:

Any Medicaid recipient who did not select their MCO during the open enrollment period has until March 15th to change their MCO. 

Also, beginning on January 1st,the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) has transitioned to a Single Preferred Drug List (PDL) for Kentucky Medicaid Fee-For-Service (FFS) and the Managed Care Organizations (MCO). All MCOs will follow the FFS PDL. The transition to a Single PDL will simplify pharmacy coverage for patients as well as prescribers. Medicaid members can learn more with this FAQ document

Lastly, DMS has issued guidance removing all prior authorization (PA) requests for inpatient Medicaid services provided by Kentucky Medicaid enrolled inpatient hospitals, as well as all Medicaid covered substance use and behavioral health services. Removing PA requests will make it easier for families and children to access needed mental health, substance use treatment, and behavioral health services. This change goes into effect on February 1, 2021. 

If you would like to share any personal stories, both positive and negative, about Kentucky’s Medicaid Managed Care process and your experience, please do through this FORM

Kentucky Oral Health Coalition is a project of the statewide nonprofit, Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA), we are not part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or affiliated with any MCO, but are monitoring implementation of the new MCOs within the Commonwealth.