KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Will Troubles Slow Medicaid Expansion Too?

Medicaid sign-ups, part of the health law working the way many officials thought it should, could also be hurt by technological malfunctions. But one state is finding the opposite to be true. In the meantime, states consider new Medicaid expansions or report on how many new Medicaid enrollees are signing up.

Politico: Obamacare Glitches Shadowing Medicaid
Another under-the-radar Obamacare malfunction could stymie January health coverage for some of the nation's poorest people, state Medicaid officials say. And that's casting a shadow on one of the parts of the Affordable Care Act that's actually working quite well -- sign-ups for Medicaid, which is being expanded under the health law (Cheney, 11/13).

Kaiser Health News: Medicaid Questions Delay Some Health Insurance Purchases In Colorado
If you want to find somebody who's really happy with the Affordable Care Act, meet Colorado's Medicaid director, Sue Birch. Colorado has been enrolling just under a thousand people a week in new private health insurance since its Obamacare marketplace opened. But the number enrolling in Medicaid is ten times that (Whitney, 11/13).

The Associated Press: Wis. Assembly OKs Mental Health Medicaid Expansion
The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage for mental health treatment. The measure would allow an emotionally disturbed child to access in-home therapy without having to show a failure to succeed in outpatient therapy; allow families to participate in in-home therapy even if a child in that family is enrolled in a day treatment program; and allow Medicaid reimbursement for mental health service providers who work with patients through interactive video and audio links (Wayne and Nussbaum, 11/12).

The Associated Press: 73 Percent Of HealthSource Signups For Medicaid
Seventy-three percent of enrollees in Rhode Island's new health insurance marketplace in the first month signed up for Medicaid rather than private insurance plans (11/12).

The Associated Press: Food Stamp Outreach Raises Illinois Medicaid Enrollment
Although only a few hundred middle-class Illinois residents were able to sign up for health insurance last month on the crippled federal website, the poor appear to be having an easier time enrolling in an expansion of Medicaid — and are doing so by the thousands. Illinois is among states expanding Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health care law. It’s the state, not the federal government, that’s overseeing efforts to enroll new clients, and state officials have come up with some effective ways to do it — especially for people already getting food stamps (11/11).

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Tammy Baldwin Seeks More Time For Shift From BadgerCare To Obamacare
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Tuesday warned Gov. Scott Walker that thousands of low-income Wisconsin residents are at risk of losing health coverage, and urged him to keep them on BadgerCare Plus through March by extending a key deadline for enrolling in the new federal exchange. Baldwin also called on the governor to expand the Medicaid program temporarily at no cost to the state to offset any costs linked to delaying that deadline (11/12).

The Associated Press: NH House Panel Working On Medicaid Expansion Plan
A New Hampshire House panel is getting more information on how long it took Arkansas to obtain federal permission to expand Medicaid to its poor adults by using private insurance. The Finance Committee on Wednesday is working on a plan to expand Medicaid to an estimated 49,000 poor New Hampshire adults and wants to hear from a consultant working with the Insurance Department who also played a role in developing Arkansas' plan (11/13).

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