KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Majority Of Medicaid Sign-Ups Centered In 10 States

An analysis from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that 80 percent of the 3 million people who enrolled in Medicaid since Oct. 1 were located in 10 states. Also in the news, specific enrollment tallies from Michigan and the latest on Virginia's legislative stalemate over the expansion. 

CQ HealthBeat: Ten States Account for Vast Majority of Medicaid Sign-Ups
Ten states signed up more than 80 percent of the approximately 3 million people who enrolled in Medicaid since Oct. 1, meaning 700,000 to 1.3 million people may have joined the health program in March based on earlier trends, according to a consulting firm’s projections. The analysis was based on a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report released Friday that found that sign-ups in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program rose during the health law’s open enrollment period to buy coverage (Adams, 4/7).

The Associated Press: Medicaid Sees 46,100 Applicants After Expansion
The state says about 46,100 people have applied for Michigan’s expanded Medicaid plan since it launched last week. The Department of Community Health says that as of 12 a.m. Monday, roughly 27,000 individuals had been enrolled in Healthy Michigan, which is intended to provide health insurance for hundreds of thousands more low-income adults (4/7). 

MLive: Michigan Enrolls Nearly 27,000 In Expanded Medicaid Program In First 6 Days
Michigan has received more than 46,000 applications for the state's expanded Medicaid program in less than a week. As of midnight on Monday, the state had received 46,091 applications and enrolled 26,906 people in the Healthy Michigan plan since it launched April 1, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. The state hadn't set specific expectations for the first week of enrollment, but it does hope to enroll about 320,000 low-income Michiganders in the program this year. A total of 477,000 people are eligible under the increased income limits (Anders, 4/7).

Roanoke Times: Senate To Vote Tuesday On Medicaid Expansion
The [Virginia state] Senate will vote today on state budget proposal that includes a private-option Medicaid expansion plan that already has been rejected by the House of Delegates, and there are no signs that the legislative stalemate will end soon. The Senate budget bill (SB 5003), advanced Monday by the Senate Finance Committee, also includes pay raises that Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proposed for state employees and school teachers. McAuliffe included the raises in the budget plan he introduced March 21, the first day of the General Assembly’s plodding special session (Sluss, 4/7).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Two Paths Seek Health Care Expansion; House Balks
State lawmakers traveled two paths on Monday toward expanded health coverage for uninsured Virginians, but both have the same obstacle -- the House of Delegates. The Senate Finance Committee, as expected, revived its plan for a private insurance marketplace in its version of the two-year state budget that the House adamantly opposes. Hours later, Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration testified that it has met the requirements of a budget agreement last year to reform Virginia’s Medicaid program before expanding it -- a contention that House members of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission quickly rejected (Martz, 4/8).

In related news, how people with mental illness are faring in states that opted against the expansion --

Stateline: Nearly 4 Million Seriously Mentally Ill Still Without Insurance
Some might consider Kelly Troyer of South Carolina lucky. She isn’t one of them. Thanks to the generosity of her church and family members, she receives some treatment for the depression and post-traumatic stress disorder she suffers as a result of the sexual assault she endured in 2012. But Troyer, 45, said her lack of health insurance and other uncovered medical costs, including a hospitalization and all her medications, has forced her into personal bankruptcy. She lives in one of the 24 states that chose not to expand their Medicaid programs, offered under the Affordable Care Act. Those decisions have left about 3.7 million Americans with serious mental illness, psychological distress or a substance abuse disorder without health insurance, according to a recent report from the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), a group that represents mental health professionals (Ollove, 4/8).

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