In states with a dominant insurance carrier, competition and lower prices envisioned by the health insurance exchanges that open in 2014 may be slow to arrive.
Some supporters of the health law fear that in states dominated by a single insurer, consumers won’t have much choice when health insurance exchanges — a key tenet of the health law — open in October.
As other states continue to debate the merits of the Affordable Care Act or race to implement it, the Bay State is moving on to the next big challenge: curbing health care costs.
Other states are watching as the federal government appears likely to allow the two states to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private coverage on their insurance exchanges.
Tar Heel State will not be expanding Medicaid. Carol Steckel explains that before the state can contemplate expanding the program, “We’ve got to clean up internally.”
Alabama lawmakers will soon consider a proposal from Gov. Robert Bentley for a Medicaid overhaul based in part on Oregon’s groundbreaking “community care organizations.” Although Bentley has said he would not support an expansion of Medicaid “under its current structure,” the expected reforms are seen as paving the way for a possible expansion as early as 2015.
Many states are trying to loosen decades-old licensing restrictions, known as “scope of practice laws,” that prevent nurse practitioners from playing the lead role in providing basic health services.
Faced with the strain Medicaid “churn” places on families in Tennessee, officials there are asking for federal approval of a project that would offer special health plans to families with at least one member on Medicaid to help maintain health coverage for the entire family.
ACOs are among the most ambitious of the new Medicaid cost containment and quality improvement schemes that have arisen in response to the federal health law and state fiscal pressures.