Battleground States in the Fight for Medicaid Expansion

A few days ago, the Maine legislature passed a bill – for the third time – that would expand affordable health coverage for nearly 70,000 residents who earn up to $15,000 a year. These hard-working Mainers – our friends, neighbors, even family – may have lost their jobs or are working in jobs that don’t offer health coverage. Gov. Paul LePage has already vetoed two similar bills to expand Medicaid, which would not only help the thousands of Mainers who …

States Can Smooth the Transition from Medicaid to Medicare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created an additional set of rules governing Medicaid eligibility. These new rules and the traditional rules interact in ways that can significantly affect low-income Medicare beneficiaries. States need to understand what’s at stake. The ACA makes it easier for low-income individuals to qualify for Medicaid by using much simpler rules for counting income, called the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) rules. People who qualify for the Medicaid expansion under the ACA are referred to as …

26 States With a Big Health Coverage Gap

This week, Health Insurance Marketplaces opened in states across the country.  It’s true: Many more Americans will now have access to affordable health care.  But, other hard-working people, who live in states that have not yet committed to expanding Medicaid, will fall into a new coverage gap. That’s right: In the 26 states that have not accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid, adults who earn up to $15,000 a year will not qualify for any type of subsidy through the …

New Health Care Coverage Gap

Meet Lorna, a 59-year-old who has been unemployed for a year and, as a result, doesn’t have health insurance. She has Type-2 Diabetes.  Recently she had to have some blood tests done, costing $600 that she can’t afford.  She has a broken tooth that she’s not able to get fixed.  She wants to work, but can’t find a job in the area. Meet a 60-year-old woman whose husband retired in 2010 and, as a result, she lost her health insurance coverage. The …

Countdown to Care: Winners and Losers

In the mad rush to pass budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the health care of hundreds of thousands of hard-working Americans is at stake – and time is running out.  As I write, only about half of the states have agreed to expand Medicaid, which will extend health coverage to residents who earn about $15,000 a year or less.  The closer we come to July 1, the greater the wins and harder the losses: Key Winners: 300,000 …

What Can We Do to Help Veterans?

As we head into the long Memorial Day weekend, we honor those who sacrificed their lives for our country. Let’s also remember the veterans who fought alongside those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They made sacrifices of their own while fighting for our country, to secure our safety. They left their families, often for long periods of time. Many were injured and continue to have health care needs. Today, let’s think about helping those veterans – and their families – …