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 …

Cost Puts New Drug for Hepatitis C Out of Reach for Many

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News staff writer, in association with The Daily Beast There’s a new drug regimen being touted as a potential cure for a dangerous liver virus that causes hepatitis C. But it costs $84,000 – or $1,000 a pill. And that price tag is prompting outrage from some consumers and a scramble by insurers to figure out which patients should get the drug – and who pays for it. Related: CDC: All Boomers Need Hepatitis C Test Called …

The New Federal Rule on Home- and Community-Based Services: All Eyes on the States

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently took an important step toward helping low-income people with disabilities. In January, CMS issued a final rule [CMS-2249-F/CMS-2296-F] giving states new flexibility and responsibilities for using Medicaid dollars to pay for home- and community-based services (HCBS). The rule – which should help Medicaid recipients overcome fragmented systems of care and limited options for living in the community – is likely to affect states in three significant ways. New Definition of …

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 …

Modernizing Medicaid: Putting Home- and Community-Based Services on Equal Footing with Nursing Homes

The AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) had a Solutions Forum on Oct. 30 to discuss ways to ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries get the supportive services they need in settings that they choose (See Twitter conversation at #MedMod and event transcript). AARP Executive Vice President Debra Whitman remarked that “the need for long-term services and supports is not a partisan issue. It affects Democrats. It affects Republicans. It affects wealthy people. It affects poor people. It affects old and young, all …

Why Spending More For Meals on Wheels Would Cost Almost Nothing

By David Orenstein Expanding programs like Meals on Wheels would save 26 of 48 U.S. states money and would allow more seniors to stay in their own homes, research shows. A new study reports that if every state in the lower 48 expanded the number of seniors receiving meals by just 1 percent, 1,722 more Medicaid recipients could avoid living in a nursing home and most states would experience a net annual savings from implementing the expansion. Pennsylvania would see …