Medicaid Backlogs Persist, Raising Concerns As Enrollment Season Nears
The Wall Street Journal reports that hundreds of thousands of people still don't officially have the Medicaid coverage they signed up for. Some of them began the process in late 2013. In other Medicaid news, debate in Mississippi continues regarding whether the state should pursue the expansion of the health insurance program for low-income and disabled people.
The Wall Street Journal: Medicaid Backlogs Could Worsen As Health-Law Sign-Ups Resume
Hundreds of thousands of people who signed up for Medicaid months ago still don't have coverage, a problem that could worsen when insurance sign-ups under the Affordable Care Act restart next month. California and Tennessee are facing lawsuits from residents who say they have seen long delays for coverage after signing up for Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the low income and disabled. Some say they have been waiting since late 2013 (Armour, 10/12).
Jackson Clarion-Ledger: Medicaid Debate Expected Again In 2015
Advocates who want to extend Medicaid to hundreds of thousands more Mississippi residents know they face long odds at the state Capitol, where opponents of expansion are in control. Still, they say they’ll make noise about the issue during the election-year legislative session that begins in January. "We're going to keep that issue alive because we think it’s the right thing to do," House Democratic Leader Bobby Moak told The Associated Press last week (Pettus, 10/12).
Meanwhile, regarding health exchanges, California's online insurance marketplace awarded contracts without competitive bidding, and more news on Oregon's troubled exchange.
The Associated Press: California Gives No-Bid Health Pacts
California's health insurance exchange has awarded $184 million in contracts without the competitive bidding and oversight that is standard practice across state government, including deals that sent millions of dollars to a firm whose employees have long-standing ties to the agency's executive director. Covered California's no-bid contracts were for a variety of services, ranging from public relations to paying for ergonomic adjustments to work stations, according to an Associated Press review of contracting records obtained through the state Public Records Act (10/12).
Oregonian: Cover Oregon Told Top Consultant, Clyde Hamstreet, To Not Submit A Written Report
A consultant's long-awaited report on the state's health insurance exchange was considered so sensitive that Cover Oregon officials asked him not to turn it in, The Oregonian has learned. The story becomes yet another example of the secrecy that has often cloaked the troubled exchange due to high legal and political stakes (Budnick, 10/10).