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The federal government likely will have some changes to the state's small-scale Medicaid expansion plan, which currently is awaiting approval.

And that means the state will not be able to begin enrolling individuals by Jan. 1, the originally projected start date, said Nate Checketts, the Utah Department of Health's deputy director.

The plan, projected to cover 9,000 to 11,000 people, targets childless adults who are chronically homeless, involved in the justice system or in need of mental-health or substance-abuse treatment.

It also expands coverage of low-income parents with dependent children previously not covered by Medicaid.

Checketts told the Health and Human Services Interim Committee on Thursday that the state has been pushing for a response from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as the estimated Jan. 1 start date fast approaches.

The department finally heard from the feds, Checketts said, on Election Day. In informal conversations, a CMS official told the state they would respond — likely with some changes — to the expansion proposal.

Checketts said he got the impression that this response would come before President-elect Donald Trump takes over in January.

Checketts previously told The Tribune the state could back out if the feds approve only portions of the proposal.

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