A new report by PwC finds the number of Medicaid enrollees covered by private health plans grew by 1 million last year and 12 states have at least 90 percent of their program participants covered by these managed care plans, up from nine last year and four in 2013. In other Medicaid news, Puerto Rico is seeking help as its crisis grows, Connecticut’s budget will cut services for at least 68,000 residents, and the federal government approves a small expansion for Utah.
Insurers Add 1 Million Medicaid Patients In 2017 Amid Failed Obamacare Repeals
The number of Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in managed care plans rose by 1 million this year to nearly 55 million Americans, according to a new report from consulting firm PwC. The report comes after the expansion of Medicaid health benefits under the Affordable Care Act survived several attempts by the Republican-led Congress and the Donald Trump White House to take away health coverage from poor people. “2017 marked the year that Medicaid moved to the forefront of the national conversation, as perception — and politics — caught up with the reality that no other social welfare program touches more Americans,” PwC’s Ari Gottlieb, the report’s author, wrote in the 17-page analysis released at this week’s Medicaid Health Plans of America annual meeting. (Japsen, 10/31)
Puerto Rico Seeks Help As Medicaid Crisis Deepens After Maria
Puerto Rico, still reeling from Hurricane Maria, is asking the Trump administration and U.S. lawmakers for help in staving off a Medicaid crisis that has put a quarter of the island’s residents at risk of losing medical care. The territory, which has grappled for years with shortfalls in funding of its Medicaid healthcare program, is on track to run out of money to pay doctors and hospitals by early next year, leaving as many as 900,000 low-income Puerto Ricans without care. (Rampton and Respaut, 11/1)
The CT Mirror:
CT Budget Cuts Program That Helps Low-Income And Disabled Medicare Patients
The two-year state budget signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy this week will cut Medicaid help from at least 68,000 Connecticut seniors and disabled individuals, a change decried by doctors and health care advocates in the state. To save about $70 million, the newly minted bipartisan budget will, as of Jan. 1, roll back eligibility for the “Medicare Savings Program,” which helps low-income and disabled Medicare recipients by giving then some benefits of the Medicaid program, a joint federal-state health plan for the poor. (Radelat, 11/2)
The Salt Lake Tribune:
Feds Approve Utah Medicaid Waiver, Which Will Help Operation Rio Grande By Expanding Drug Treatment
The federal Health and Human Services Department has approved Utah’s long-requested Medicaid waiver — a plan that will provide health coverage for about 6,000 poor adults without children. The waiver and accompanying federal funding are critical parts of Operation Rio Grande, the effort attempting to crack down on lawlessness in downtown Salt Lake City and provide services — including mental health care and drug-addiction treatment — to homeless Utahns. (Ramseth, 11/1)
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