Archive for the ‘Medicaid’ category

What The Supreme Court Decision Means To You

July 5th, 2012

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled not to throw out the health care reform which was passed over two years ago.  Two major issues were being watched by many people.  The first one, was the Medicaid expansion and the qualifications to get insurance through Medicaid.  And the second, was whether or not the individual mandate was constitutional.  The Supreme Court ruled that the mandate is constitutional and that they will enforce the mandate as a tax.  The original pitch and what was Obama’s selling point, was that the mandate would be penalized as a fee not a tax.  So this decision is huge and can have some falling out by supporters of Obama.  Anyone who does not health insurance by 2014, will pay $95 or 1% of their income, which ever is greater.  The figures go up if you have a family that is not covered.  Also, if you still do not have health insurance by 2016, the tax will go up to 2.5%.

So the question here is, will people that are healthy still go without health insurance and pay the tax.  Or, is the tax enough to make them change their behaviors.  Most likely, the former because it still is a lot cheaper to pay the tax then pay the monthly premium on a health insurance policy.  Another issue will be how each state will proceed with implementing the health insurance exchanges by 2014.  Still, there are 26 states that are opposed to the ruling and it will be a challenge for the federal government to manage the exchanges without support on the state level.

Supreme Court Decision Drawing Near

June 4th, 2012

The health reform was passed well over two years ago and has not gone without debate.  Many parts of the reform have already been implemented and have had a positive impact.  For instance, the lifetime maximum was lifted so no one can be limited by the amount of medical services they can receive.  This is very important for those patients who are terminally ill and rely of medical services to keep them alive.  Also, the age was increased for dependents to be on their parents’ health insurance to age 26.  As the economy continues to struggle, many are relying on others to pay their health insurance premiums.

However, the most important part of the reform is still being debated, and that is whether or not the individual mandate is constitutional.  Starting in 2014, the reform says that everyone must have health insurance and they will face a penalty from the government.  The Supreme Court is ruling on this and the results will have a huge impact on health care and the economy as a whole.

Supreme Court To Review California Medicaid Cuts

October 4th, 2011

It was announced on Monday that the Supreme Court was deciding on whether Medicaid recipients and medical providers could sure California for cutting reimbursement rates.  California announced a couple of years back that they were planning to cut Medicaid payments to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers and it would save over $700 million. 

Medicaid is a large portion of the spending a state does per year.  It roughly accounts for about 33 percent of state spending per year.  Medicaid covers about 55 million people through their health insurance program.  Many experts are worried that these excessive reimbursement cuts will effect health care and the quality of service people receive.  The Obama administration is looking very closely at this potential case and analyzing all the risks that California might be absorbing.

California Could Pose Problem For Obama’s Healthcare Reform

September 19th, 2011

Ever since the health reform laws have passed, California has been a leading state when it comes to compliance and pro-activeness.  California was set to be a model state for the health reform  and many states were supposed to follow their path.  In fact, it has been quite the opposite.  Many states are fighting to overturn the laws, stating that the health reform laws are unconstitutional because the government they say can not force Americans to get health insurance against their will.

California is asking the government for permission to place limits on how people on Medicaid can use the program.  Medicaid, which is a federal program for poor Americans to use healthcare, is a very costly program for the state.  California wants the government to allow them to place limits on use so people in California will not take advantage of the system.  California believes that other states will follow their path if they can pull this off.  California was one of the first states to approve the health insurance exchange which must be up and running by 2014.

Is “Obamacare” Working?

September 15th, 2011

The Affordable Care Act is a major part of the new health reform laws past last year and its main purpose is to make health insurance more affordable for Americans.  According to the Census Bureau, about 500,000 young adults ages between 18-24, had health insurance in 2010 as compared to 2009.  That is a large increase and many experts are pointing to the new health reform as a reason many Americans purchased health insurance.  Their are many things that changed about health insurance, including things such as free wellness and preventive check-ups once per year, and no cap on lifetime benefits.  Some of these benefits, which were enacted by the Affordable Care Act, might be the reason that more Americans are getting health insurance.

The long-term effects of the health reform is still yet to be determined.  Starting in 2014, states are required to have a health insurance exchange up and running to make buying affordable health insurance easy for all Americans.  This will be requiring a lot of management both at the state level and the federal level.  In addition, experts are still not sure of the total costs over the long haul.  Many people are still skeptical of its value.

More Medicare Reform, More Struggling Hospitals

September 12th, 2011

Many organizations and hospitals will be feeling the effects of the health care reform next year and beyond.  The Affordable Care Act was enacted last year and one of the provisions states that both Medicare and Medicaid will be getting reimbursement rate cuts.  Many hospitals that serve this segment will be taking a hit to their bottom line and as a consequence, the quality of their service might go down as well.  The elections are right around the corner and many do not think that anything will be appealed or changed. 

Organizations are preparing for the worst case and also bracing for a less profitable business.  The rate reductions to Medicare is a big concern because the baby boomers are starting to take a big effect on the services.  More and more individuals are starting to retire and hospitals are feeling the demand of the medical services and the participation increase in Medicare.