Medicaid programs increasingly recognize the value of partnering with individuals who have Medicaid-lived experience to inform program and policy design and implementation efforts. Given final Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rules for states to establish new types of member advisory groups — referred to as Medicaid Advisory Committees and Beneficiary Advisory Councils — Medicaid agencies have an imperative to establish or bolster member engagement mechanisms.

To support states in designing and implementing CMS’ new requirements for member advisory groups, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is launching the Building State Capacity for Community-Informed Policymaking Learning and Action Series. This project will support Medicaid programs in establishing or strengthening a Beneficiary Advisory Council (BAC) aligned with CMS’ vision for centering Medicaid lived experience in Medicaid program and policy decision-making processes.

Through the 14-month initiative, CHCS will provide technical assistance and expert support to help up to five participating states and/or territories:

  • Build states’ understanding of member engagement and advisory group promising practices;
  • Support states in partnering with a community entity or entities and Medicaid members to develop a BAC action plan;
  • Facilitate internal culture change to increase organizational commitment and capacity related to the BAC; and
  • Build internal staff capacity to ensure Medicaid member input from the BAC is translated into program and policy design.

Participating Medicaid agencies will learn from their peers and national experts on promising practices to ultimately implement a BAC. Participants will receive hands-on assistance to: (1) inventory existing member engagement strategies and activities; (2) formalize a partnership with a community entity; (3) develop a BAC action plan; and (4) implement the BAC. Participants will be eligible for regrants of up to $25,000 for a community entity to support member advisory group design and implementation activities (i.e., Medicaid member stipends, convening, and facilitation).

Throughout the initiative, CHCS will distill lessons from the participants and share best practices publicly to inform additional state efforts to effectively engage Medicaid members.

Request for Applications

CHCS welcomes applications from Medicaid officials and teams to apply for this 14-month series. States, commonwealths, and territories seeking to improve Medicaid member engagement strategies should consider applying. Applicant teams must include staff overseeing Medicaid member engagement, but could also include staff from other divisions that oversee policymaking.

Important Dates

  • April 9, 2024 – Request for applications released (Download application | View FAQs).
  • April 25, 2024 – Optional informational webinar held (Replay the webinar).
  • April 30, 2024 – Non-binding Expression of Interest.
  • May 30, 2024 – Applications due by 5:00 pm ET.
  • Late June 2024 – Selected states notified.
  • July 2024 – August 2025 – Project period.