Monday, July 30, 2012

Health Insurance Exchange Update: Monday, July 30, 2012

State Flag of Oregon
States are continuing to weigh the options on what to do with Medicaid expansion and exchange marketplaces. Some governors are still hoping that the defeat of the president would ultimately put an end to the health care law as we know it. Others have decided to try and do something as long as it is till the law of the land. Others are having meetings with officials to try and figure out just how much money will be spent on the expansion and exchanges.

According to Statesman Journal, Sen. Jackie Winters schedules a two-hour meeting summit to clarify what Oregon is doing and what they are not doing with the health care law. Already approved was a new coordinated-care organizations that will bring together doctors, hospitals and other providers in the state. 

But Oregon is a select few who are actually meeting to decide on what to do. Other states like Michigan seem to want to wait although the governor wants to move forward. And the ramifications on what Medicaid expansion means for citizens of a state seem quite staggering. 

Hundreds of thousands will go without health care in Ohio. According to the Columbus Dispatch, if Gov. John Kaisch does not expand Medicaid for the poorest in the state, then 600,000 will be without health insurance. If the Supreme Court did not throw out the provision on Medicaid, there would have been subsidies and tax credits for low-income individuals. But since the expansion is not mandatory, the 789,000 Ohioans, which also includes the 600,000 low-income individuals, would have gotten health insurance but instead are going to be without insurance. The governor, like so many, is on the fence about what to do. Thought eh federal government will cover all expenses for the first three years and at least ninety percent the next year, reducing its involvement over time.  There are still concerns over how much a state will have to pay down the road. The state will be meeting to go over their budget for the next two years. 

A study done by the New England Journal of Medicine found that Arizona went as far as to say that Medicaid expansion causes fewer deaths in the state. Not all that surprising but when expansion occurred in 2001, citizens were healthier when it was expanded. The study was done to predict the future of states if they were to expand on Medicaid. 

Oklahoma is still refusing to budge on their stance when it comes to healthcare reform. According to The Washington Post, Oklahoma is a state that strongly dislikes strong arm government so much that the state cannot even get residents to buy car insurance. The state is among the highest of residents without car insurance. The state has already rejected the $54 million grant the federal government gave to start up the exchange marketplace. But the factors that are deeply rooted in the culture of Oklahoma certainly rings true to other states in this country and the most important one seems to be don’t tell me what to do. One man mentioned in the piece went as far as to say insurance is nothing but a “concept based on fear.” A notion that may be true, you fear that you would be in a car accident so as a precaution, you get coverage. Though it may be out of fear, could it also be a concept based on planning ahead? 

This November, the Health Insurance Exchange Congress will be held November 13-14, 2012 in Chicago, IL.  Here, state officials and health plans with the only opportunity to come together to discuss PPACA and strategize on how to make this a successful opportunity for all.  For more information on this year's agenda, download the program here.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1710BLOG, you'll receive 15% off the standard rate

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