KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

3.5 Million Estimated Medicaid Signups Under Health Law

Avalere Health projects that of the 8.9 million people "determined eligible" for Medicaid starting last Oct. 1, the number of new enrollees under the health law is likely much smaller -- between 2.4 million and 3.5 million. Other reports look at how health insurance could result in nearly half a million more Americans getting tested for HIV by 2017 -- but how 60,000 people with the virus will be left uninsured in states not expanding Medicaid.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Lower Medicaid Signups Seen In Health Law Study
It’s one of the most impressive statistics about the new health care law. The Obama administration says more than 8.9 million people have been, quote “determined eligible” for Medicaid from Oct. 1 through the end of January. But a new study Monday from Avalere Health estimates the actual number of new sign-ups could be much lower, between 2.4 million and 3.5 million (3/3).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: 60,000 With HIV Left Uninsured In States Not Expanding Medicaid
The Affordable Care Act is generally a win for people living with HIV and AIDS, about 30 percent of whom are uninsured. It offers new health insurance options -- both private and public -- to a group that had been largely locked out of the individual insurance market because of rules about preexisting conditions. In 2010, just 17 percent of people with HIV and AIDS had private insurance, compared to 65 percent of the general U.S. population. Many others are low-income and childless, making them ineligible for Medicaid in most states (Gold, 3/4). 

Politico Pro: HIV Studies Show Impact Of Coverage, Early Treatment
Health insurance under the Affordable Care Act could mean nearly half a million more Americans get tested for HIV by 2017, which a new study concludes would have significant implications for reducing transmission of the virus. Those numbers would rise further if all states expanded Medicaid. The findings are part of a series of research papers published in the March edition of Health Affairs. They look at the impact of the health law on HIV testing and diagnoses and at the substantial evidence that early treatment helps prevent additional infections (Levine, 3/3).

The CT Mirror: For Some New Medicaid Clients, Delays Getting Care, Prescriptions
Margaret Hagins felt like crying when she learned she’d qualify for Medicaid under the federal health law. Even now, four months later, she chokes up when she talks about it. Having coverage means she no longer has to figure out how to pay for enough pills to keep her bipolar disorder in control, or choose between buying food, paying bills or filling her prescriptions. In theory, Hagins, like thousands of other Connecticut residents, got Medicaid coverage Jan. 1, the date the program expanded as part of the law commonly known as Obamacare. But for close to six weeks, she said she couldn’t use it or get a prescription paid for because she didn’t have a Medicaid card (Becker, 3/4).

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