Medicaid ‘Woodwork Effect’ Spurs State Budget Concerns
Many of those eligible for Medicaid before passage of the health law but not enrolled have signed up as a result of the publicity about getting insured, adding to states' costs. Meanwhile, in other state health overhaul news, a Democratic Virginia senator says some Republican state lawmakers want the governor to expand Medicaid through an executive order, and the Republican governor of Indiana holds hearings on his plan to expand Medicaid.
The Associated Press: Medicaid Surge Triggers Cost Concerns For States
From California to Rhode Island, states are confronting new concerns that their Medicaid costs will rise as a result of the federal health care law. That's likely to revive the debate about how federal decisions can saddle states with unanticipated expenses. Before President Barack Obama's law expanded Medicaid eligibility, millions of people who were already entitled to its safety-net coverage were not enrolled. Those same people are now signing up in unexpectedly high numbers, partly because of publicity about getting insured under the law. For states red or blue, the catch is that they must use more of their own money to cover this particular group (Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/26).
The Hill: Virginia Senator Says GOP Secretly Wants Gov. to Expand Medicaid
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says some Republicans secretly want Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to expand Medicaid through an executive order. He said Republicans in Virginia want it to happen, but don’t want to have to be responsible for the vote (Al-Faruque, 5/26).
The Associated Press: Hearings Set For Healthy Indiana Plan Expansion
Two public hearings are scheduled this week on Gov. Mike Pence's plan to use Medicaid funds to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan to provide insurance under the federal health care overhaul. Pence's proposal, which needs the approval of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, could cover as many as 350,000 uninsured Indiana residents who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. HIP currently provides health savings accounts to about 40,000 people (5/25).
The Associated Press: States Scrutinize Insurance Enrollment Workers
Republican lawmakers across the country are adding criminal background checks or licensing requirements for workers hired to help people enroll in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, taking aim at perceived security risks involving customers' personal information. More than a dozen GOP-controlled states have passed legislation tightening requirements for the enrollment counselors. Bills in other states are pending. The federal government does not require criminal background checks for navigators, but states can set their own rules (Chase, 5/25).
Kaiser Health News: States Consider Using Medicaid To Pay College Health Plan Premiums
Some students headed for college this fall will get top-drawer health coverage at little or no cost, and Medicaid will pick up the tab by paying the premium for the college’s student health plan (Andrews, 5/27).