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The lag it takes to get back on Medicaid can mean relapses or other serious problems for prisoners struggling with addiction or mental health issues. “On the outside, if they didn’t get their treatment, they’d come right back through the front door again,” New Hampshire Department of Corrections Superintendent David Dionne says.
Most people who are going with the fixed indemnity plans — which aren’t considered true insurance under the health law — are healthy and willing to bet they won’t be hit with high medical bills anytime soon. Meanwhile, Democrats on Capitol Hill have introduced a public option plan that, though it has almost no chance of passing at the moment, reinforces the party’s push toward more universal coverage.
It remains to be seen if the changes will be enough to appease the upper chamber, which blocked the budget during the regular session because it included Medicaid expansion plans for the state.
If approved, the initiative would require the state to expand Medicaid to people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, and would prohibit enrollment caps. Medicaid news comes out of Arizona and Alaska, as well.
The House Appropriations Committee passed the new version of the budget that includes a handful of amendments to woo Senate Republicans. The lawmakers in the upper chamber had blocked the budget earlier because of the House’s attempts to expand the state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid news comes out of Colorado, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and Maine, as well.
After years of using the health law as a rallying cry with voters, Republican candidates are keeping quiet on the topic. “Yeah, we probably can’t talk credibly about repeal and replace anymore,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.).
The state lawmakers returned to Richmond for a special session to iron out problems with the budget, which had been stymied by what to do with the state’s Medicaid program.
The health law has gone through many changes in the past year or so; Modern Healthcare offers a look at the current state of affairs.
Conservatives are using the executive order to push federal health officials to approve pending Medicaid work requirement requests in several other Republican-led states. But many poverty experts say the majority of those receiving help from the government already work if they’re able to do so.
The scholars voiced their opinion as part of an amicus brief filed as part of a lawsuit challenging Kentucky’s changes to its Medicaid program.
Two Republican state senators said this week they would accept some form of broader Medicaid benefits. The issue has sparked a fiery debate in the state, with the Senate blocking the House’s attempts to expand the program. Lawmakers are holding a special session to try to resolve the fight.
Reinsurance is geared toward helping insurance companies protect themselves when they are hit by an unexpectedly high claim, which helps lower premiums for consumers. But Minnesota’s fix, while successful, is just temporary for now. Meanwhile, voters continue to rank health care as a top issue for the upcoming midterms.
The move to allow Medicaid to pay for treatment at facilities with more than 16 beds would be one of the more costly steps Congress is thinking about taking to fight the opioid epidemic. In other news on the crisis: CVS will offer a discount on overdose medication to the uninsured; a poll reveals Americans’ complex views on addiction; the CDC investigates an HIV surge; and more.
Where once the health law was an elections burden for Democrats to defend, they now see it as a talking point that could help them switch red seats blue. In other news, the Washington Post Fact Checker explains why correlation does not equal causation when it comes to cost-sharing reduction subsidies; actuaries have their hands full with the law’s risk adjustment method; and Maryland’s governor signs legislation to help stabilize the marketplace.
In all, 11.8 million people signed up for coverage through the marketplaces, down about 400,000 from last year. And while premiums did spike, subsidized consumers are actually paying less because of an odd quirk that came about after the Trump administration cut off payments to insurers.
The deadline to submit a routine application to ensure about $500 million in annual federal funding for expansion is Tuesday. But Gov. Paul LePage (R) has repeatedly said he won’t take any steps to expand Medicaid until lawmakers pay for the program under his terms.
Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has signed a measure that allows the Iowa Farm Bureau to collaborate with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield on self-funded “health benefit plans,” which would fall outside the regulation of the health law. Experts say Iowa’s new law is legal and unlikely to draw pushback from the government, potentially creating a model for other states to follow.
The combination of Medicaid and public-employee health and retirement costs consumes about one out of every five tax dollars collected by state and local governments, which is the highest share since Medicaid was created in 1965.
CMS ruled in Idaho’s case that skirting the regulations is still illegal, but agency officials were willing to work with the state to offer the plans as short-term coverage. Meanwhile, other states are exploring their options to stabilize their marketplaces.
The budget plan means that the one in four Mississippi residents who rely on the program will continue to be covered. Medicaid news comes out of Idaho and Missouri, as well.