CMS Upholds Decision Denying Indiana’s Medicaid Plan Disqualifying Abortion Providers

The Office of the Indiana Attorney General (AG) issued a statement that CMS has denied Indiana’s administrative appeal of an earlier ruling that disapproved Indiana’s Medicaid plan amendment. The Medicaid plan had included provisions of a state law passed in 2011 (see Indiana Code sec. 5-22-17-5.5) that disqualified abortion providers in the state from receiving payment as Medicaid providers.

Indiana filed the administrative appeal of the CMS administrator’s disapproval of the Medicaid plan amendment last year. Subsequently, CMS heard the state’s administrative appeal but upheld the initial rejection and again disapproved the plan. Indiana had argued that Medicaid funds intended to help groups like Planned Parenthood to provide general health care would indirectly subsidize abortions.

CMS’ decision followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s earlier refusal without comment to hear Indiana’s petition challenging the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., v Commissioner, Indiana Department of Health, invalidating the 2011 law. The Seventh Circuit concluded that the law could not be applied to Planned Parenthood’s participation in Indiana’s Medicaid program, as all Medicaid beneficiaries were guaranteed by statute of free choice of providers.

The AG had issued a statement noting that although the Supreme Court chose not to accept the case for its next term, the AG would continue to monitor other decisions progressing through the federal appellate court system with similar statutes in question.