KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Early State Enrollment Numbers Show Increased Medicaid Sign-Ups

Kentucky and New York release figures showing that a large majority of people signing up for coverage under the health law are qualifying for the federal-state program for low-income residents, often because they don't have to pay anything to immediately enroll. Meanwhile, Arkansas says more than 62,000 people have been approved for that state's innovative Medicaid program.

The Associated Press: More Than 26,000 Kentuckians Sign Up For Coverage
Three weeks into the federal health care overhaul, more than 26,000 Kentuckians have signed up for medical coverage, the vast majority of whom will become Medicaid recipients. Gov. Steve Beshear released updated enrollment numbers Thursday, showing that 21,342 people have been enrolled in Medicaid program and another 4,832 in private insurance plans since the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange in just over three weeks. Coverage won't begin until Jan. 1 (Alford and Lovan, 10/25).

The Buffalo News: Many 'Obamacare' Enrollees In N.Y. Go To Medicaid
More than 37,000 New Yorkers have signed up for health insurance since enrollment under the Affordable Care Act began Oct. 1, but many of them are going into the state's Medicaid program rather than one of 16 private insurance carriers participating in the new federally mandated program. ... In the first three weeks of the "Obamacare" enrollment, 23,717 New Yorkers who went to a new state website to enroll for insurance ended up being steered to join Medicaid because their incomes were low enough to qualify. In all, 13,313 New Yorkers have enrolled for health coverage with one of the 16 private insurance carriers participating (Precious, 10/25).

The Associated Press: Ark. Signs 62K People Through New Medicaid Plan
State health officials said Thursday that more than 66,000 Arkansas residents applied for health insurance under the state's Medicaid expansion and slightly more than 62,000 of the applications were approved. Arkansas was granted a waiver from part of the federal health care law so that it could use Medicaid funds to subsidize private insurance for low-income residents, instead of expanding the public program (Bartels, 10/24).

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