Here are all the articles I've written about Medicaid. Enjoy!

June 23rd, 2015

ACA woes?  Hospitals and Docs feel it too!

Life since the Affordable Care Act is an interesting environment.  Everything is changing at such a rapid pace, no one knows how to keep up.  Hospitals are in the same boat, too!

In a recent study, 75% of hospitals have reported an increase of emergency room traffic since the ACA started.  Not only that, but there’s a huge increase in the number of people in Medicaid (in CA it’s Medi-Cal).   BUT doctors don’t want to take new Medicaid patients because Medicaid pays doctors so poorly.

So just because more people have access to health insurance, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have access to timely medical care.     And that, my friends, is true no matter what health insurance you have or whenever you try to see a doctor!

My assistant was sick a few weeks back, and she had the WORST time getting an appointment to see her doctor!  I think doctors offices may be feeling strapped for time too!

Some food for thought while we peel back the many layers of this onion.  And keep in mind to plan ahead when you can, keep ahead of illness so you’re not scrambling when you really need help.  Check out the article with more info from the President of the American College of Emergency Physicians:

http://www.benefitspro.com/2015/05/04/er-visits-keep-climbing-under-ppaca.…

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April 9th, 2010

Your Government’s Health Insurance Plan

I have it on good authority that you’ll be able to contact one of the following newly created federal boards and commissions to get help with your government-sponsored health insurance.  Which one will you choose?

1. Grant program for consumer assistance offices (Section 1002, p. 37)
2. Grant program for states to monitor premium increases (Section  1003, p. 42)
3. Committee to review administrative simplification standards  (Section 1104, p. 71)
4. Demonstration program for state wellness programs (Section 1201, p.  93)
5. Grant program to establish state Exchanges (Section 1311(a), p. 130)
6. State American Health Benefit Exchanges (Section 1311(b), p. 131)
7. Exchange grants to establish consumer navigator programs (Section  1311(i), p. 150)
8. Grant program for state cooperatives (Section 1322, p. 169)
9. Advisory board for state cooperatives (Section 1322(b)(3), p. 173)
10. Private purchasing council for state cooperatives (Section  1322(d), p. 177)
11. State basic health plan programs (Section 1331, p. 201)
12. State-based reinsurance program (Section 1341, p. 226)
13. Program of risk corridors for individual and small group markets  (Section 1342, p. 233)
14. Program to determine eligibility for Exchange participation  (Section 1411, p. 267)
15. Program for advance determination of tax credit eligibility  (Section 1412, p. 288)
16. Grant program to implement health IT enrollment standards (Section  1561, p. 370)
17. Federal Coordinated Health Care Office for dual eligible  beneficiaries (Section 2602, p. 512)
18. Medicaid quality measurement program (Section 2701, p. 518)
19. Medicaid health home program for people with chronic conditions,  and grants for planning same (Section 2703, p. 524)
20. Medicaid demonstration project to evaluate bundled payments  (Section 2704, p. 532)
21. Medicaid demonstration project for global payment system (Section  2705, p. 536)
22. Medicaid demonstration project for accountable care organizations  (Section 2706, p. 538)
23. Medicaid demonstration project for emergency …

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March 26th, 2010

How Health Care Reform Affects You

If you didn’t read the entire 12-page synopsis of the new Health Care Reform legislation which I posted a couple of days ago (because you found it just too exciting!), here is a year-by-year breakdown of what you can expect (the big stuff doesn’t happen until 2014).   Can you spot the fatal flaws?

2010

  • Subsidies begin for small businesses to provide coverage to employees
  • Insurance companies barred from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
  • Children permitted to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until their 26th birthday

2011

  • Set up long term care program under which people pay premiums into system for at least 5 years and become eligible for support payments if they need assistance in daily living
  • Drug makers face annual fees of $2.5 billion

2013

  • New Medicare tax on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and couples filing jointly earning more than $250,000 a year
  • Tax on wages rises to 2.35% up from 1.45%
  • New 3.8% tax on unearned income such as dividends and interest
  • Excise tax of 2.9% imposed on sale of medical devices
  • Medicare pilot program begins to test bundled payments for care, in a bid to pay for quality rather than quantity of services

2014

  • Create exchanges where people without employer coverage, as well as small businesses, can shop for health coverage.  Insurance companies barred from denying coverage to anyone with pre-existing illness.
  • Requirement begins for most people to have health insurance.  Subsidies begin for lower- and middle-income people.  People at 133% of the federal poverty level pay maximum of 3% of income for coverage.  People at 400% of the poverty level pay up to 9.5% of income.  (Poverty level currently is about $22,000 for a family of four.)
  • Medicaid (in CA, Medi-Cal), expands to all Americans with income up to 133%
Read More…