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  Details for 07/06/2006

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Date 07/06/2006
Subject CMS Announes Documentation of Citizenship Requirement

On July 6, 2006 HHS placed on display at the Federal Register interim final regulations with comment to be published July 12, 2006 for states to implement a new requirement, effective July 1, that persons applying for Medicaid must document their citizenship. This interim final rule with comment will amend Medicaid regulations to implement the provision of the Deficit Reduction Act that requires States to obtain satisfactory documentary evidence of an applicant's or recipient's citizenship and identity in order to receive Federal financial participation. This interim final with comment regulation will provide States with guidance on the types of documentary evidence that may be accepted, including alternative forms of documentary evidence in addition to those described in the statute and the conditions under which this documentary evidence can be accepted to establish the applicant's declaration of citizenship. It will also give States guidance on the processes that may be used to help minimize the administrative burden on States, applicants and recipients.

Recognizing the diversity of beneficiaries served by Medicaid, the regulations provide for a range of ways that citizenship status and personal identity may be documented. Because seniors and people with a disability who receive Medicare or Supplemental Security Income already have met certain documentation requirements, the regulation does not include new documentation requirements for these groups. This exemption reflects the special treatment of these groups in the statute, implying that they should be exempt from additional documentation requirements.

For all other individuals, in addition to the range of documents outlined in the regulation, states can also document citizenship and identity through data matches with government agencies. Additional types of documentation, such as school records, may also be used for identity of children. If other forms of documentation cannot be obtained, documentation may be provided by a written affidavit, signed under penalty of perjury, from two citizens, one of whom cannot be related to the applicant or recipient, who have specific knowledge of a beneficiary's citizenship status. Applicants or recipients must also submit an affidavit stating why the documents are not available. Affidavits are only expected to be used in rare circumstances. Current beneficiaries should not lose benefits during the period in which they are undertaking a good-faith effort to provide documentation to the state.

The interim final regulations match most of the guidance that was provided to State Medicaid Directors on June 9, 2006. Comments from the public will be accepted through August 11.

The interim final regulation and a fact sheet are available through the links below.


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Interim Final Rule

Fact Sheet: HHS Issues Citizenship Guidelines for Medicaid Eligibility

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Last Modified Date : 07/07/2006
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