( CNN) Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has suspended dental and vision benefits for virtually 500,000 Medicaid recipients after a federal judge blocked his plan to overhaul the safety net program.
The effort was halted — at the least temporarily — on Friday after US District Judge James Boasberg voided the federal acceptance and kicked the matter back to the Department of Health and Human Services for further review. Calling the agency’s acceptance “arbitrary and capricious, ” Boasberg said HHS Secretary Alex Azar had neglected to analyze whether Kentucky’s plan would cause recipients to lose their health insurance coverage.
Bevin administration officials quickly warned that the state would have “no choice but to stimulate significant benefit reductions” to offset the increasing cost of Medicaid expansion. On Sunday, they announced that dental and vision coverage would objective for about 460,000 recipients until the overhaul moves forward.