Calif. Wrestles With Medicaid Backlog; Penn. Expansion Plans In Flux
Tens of thousands of applicants are still awaiting their official Medicaid cards in California. In Pennsylvania, officials are set on Jan.1 to start a new program developed by the outgoing Republican administration, but the new Democratic governor says he wants to move to a more traditional expansion program.
California Still Grappling With Big Medicaid Backlog
California is still struggling to clear tens of thousands of backlogged Medicaid applications from Obamacare’s first year and in the face of a lawsuit over coverage delays will temporarily give thousands of people benefits while concluding their case review. (Pradhan, 12/5)
Pennsylvania Medicaid Expansion Option: Starting Only To Stop?
The only thing certain about the alternative Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania is that coverage will start on Jan. 1. Nineteen days later, Democrat Tom Wolf will move into the governor’s mansion. He has vowed to scrap his Republican predecessor’s plan and replace it with traditional expansion. If he follows through, GOP legislators say they can defund that during budget negotiations next summer — even if it means canceling new benefits for thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians. (Wheaton, 12/5)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Finding Coverage Through Pa.'s Medicaid Expansion
[Terry] Sullivan believes that the federal government has no business being involved in his choice of health insurance. For 28 years, that insurance was Independence Blue Cross' Special Care plan. But the plan was discontinued in 2013 because it didn't meet the ACA's qualified health plan standards. So Sullivan, of King of Prussia, went on the marketplace .... So [this fall] back online he went, shopping for new coverage on healthcare.gov. ... But when he plugged in his $12,000 annual income, a message popped up that read, "This household may be eligible for free or low-cost care" through Medicaid. The self-employed accountant now will join an estimated 600,000 low-income Pennsylvanians -- many of whom have never had health insurance -- covered through Healthy Pennsylvania, the state's Medicaid expansion program, which starts Jan. 1. (Calandra, 12/7)
The Detroit Free Press:
Expanded Medicaid Remains Year-Round Option
Michigan's expanded Medicaid was made possible under the same law that set up the state exchanges. However, unlike the exchanges, enrollment in the program — called Healthy Michigan — isn't limited to a three-month open enrollment period. You can enroll in Medicaid year-round. Last year, Michigan was among about two dozen states that decided to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. For years, its program generally was limited to children, parents of young children, and elderly and disabled people. That change means many single adults — including those who work but whose incomes still hover around the poverty level — are now eligible not only for health care when they're sick, but for preventative services such as regular doctor's visits, mammograms and colonoscopies. (Erb, 12/7)