Medicaid Expansion Helps Cut Rate of Older, Uninsured Adults From 12% to 8%

The health law’s expansion of Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes over the poverty line was key to reducing the uninsured rate among 50- to 64-year-olds from nearly 12 percent to 8 percent in 2014, according to a new analysis. “Clearly most of the gains in coverage were in Medicaid or non-group coverage,” says study coauthor Jane Sung, a senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute, which conducted the study with the Urban Institute. Under the health …

Keep Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries From Falling Through the Cracks

The Affordable Care Act allows states to offer Medicaid to low-income adults who would not have qualified under previous law. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia offer this expanded coverage. Those who qualify will face higher cost-sharing requirements when they transition from Medicaid expansion coverage to Medicare, but some may be eligible for traditional Medicaid benefits or Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) that will help reduce their costs. >> Get your questions about the health law answered here. Medicare beneficiaries …

The Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid

States have divided almost evenly on whether to expand Medicaid to millions more low-income Americans, many of them uninsured. Many Republican governors or state legislatures have rejected expansion, saying that although the federal government will pick up most of the tab now, states could be left on the hook in the future. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter And although expansion aims for low-income people, “you’re expanding coverage for graduate students and Starbucks baristas,” says Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow at the Heritage …

Study: 5.2 Million Americans Will Fall Into Medicaid ‘Coverage Gap’

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News About 5.2 million poor, uninsured adults will fall into the “coverage gap,” created by 26 states choosing not to expand Medicaid under the federal health law next year, according to a study released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter These people are projected to have incomes too high to qualify for their state’s existing Medicaid programs, but below the federal poverty …

In These States, Hospitals and Patients Could Be in for a Rough Ride

Hospitals and health-care systems in the 21 states that aren’t expanding Medicaid, the health program for low-income Americans, may be in for an especially rough financial ride. With hospitals in those states facing the prospect of providing even more uncompensated care, Bloomberg.com says, the municipal bonds they put up for sale may very well have diminished appeal. As Bloomberg’s Brian Chappatta explains: “Health-care related bonds are already posting the biggest losses among revenue debt in the $3.7 trillion municipal market, …

The Costs of Not Expanding Medicaid

I generally don’t like to tell people that I majored in economics in college, because – the painful truth be told – there’s not a lot that I actually remember about “the dismal science.” One of the few things I do remember, however, is the concept of “opportunity cost.” That’s the name economists give to the cost of not doing something. Which brings us, in today’s lesson, to Medicaid, the government-sponsored health insurance program for certain groups of low-income Americans. …