October 5, 2011

October 5, 2011
Medicaid Watch

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. I hope you are having a safe and great week so far.

Now a lot of people with HIV are on Medicaid especially long term survivors. So I would like to give you the latest updates I have on Medicaid.

Notable and recent state developments and proposals that expand access and eligibility appear in blue, while noteworthy and recent state developments and proposals that reduce access and eligibility are printed in red. The last three pages contain a regularly updated and current listing of sources and resources on state level health coverage, with the most relevant news, facts and documents highlighted in yellow.

What is still well worth looking over are studies cited on pages 12, 13 and 14 successfully refuting reform opponents' misinformation that the reforms will cost states huge sums of money. In fact these studies show that states will actually get billions more in US funds. Moreover, we have prepared and have continually updated papers for advocates to share with and then insist that state health officials facing serious budget shortages actually implement savings methods for state Medicaid and ADAP programs that avoid cuts in eligibility, benefits and already too low provider rates (rather than resort to the easier, stroke of a pen eligibility, benefits or reimbursement cuts they have traditionally relied on. Email me for copies and call me for further clarificatons.

The MEDICAID WATCH does not cover only state level Medicaid eligibility and access news; it also reports on other state health assistance programs, including:

* the State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
*states' own non-federally funded medical assistance programs
*State Pharmacy Assistance Programs (SPAPs)
*State AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs)
*state subsidized or sponsored health insurance programs for limited income persons
*state-subsidized high risk health insurance pools (including premium discounts given by some risk pools to those with incomes under state set levels)
*safety net hospitals offering free or discounted care to the indigent.

For each state, we note, as percentages of the 2011 annual Federal Poverty Level (FPL), the most recently tabulated income eligibility levels for Medicaid for the aged and disabled; for parents*; and for childless, non-disabled adults (if they get Medicaid through an eligibility expansion, a waiver or via some other public Medicaid like state program). We also note eligibility levels for SCHIP; ADAPs; SPAPs; state subsidized or sponsored health insurance; states' Medicare Savings Program (MSP) income and asset eligibility liberalizations that exceed the federal minimums; and income eligibility levels for any pre-health reform state only funded risk pools' low income premium discount programs.

Please share this with your colleagues and affiliates at the state and local level. We welcome your comments, news items and corrections; we're very eager to share our Medicaid and ADAP savings papers with you at your request; email me at tomxix@ix.netcom.com.

* Where working (sometimes abbreviated as "wkg") parents' income eligibility levels appear in blue, that means the indicated state Medicaid income level by virtue of earnings and/or other income disregards may well be met by minimum wage (or other low income) parents. These levels are often surprisingly high, even in some rather conservative states when one considers that the figure shown as a percentage of the FPL reflects the dollar value of the disregard enhanced income eligibility level for a family of three (and in most cases children alone are almost always covered at even higher income levels by Medicaid itself or S-CHIP). See pages 12and 13 for sources on parent income levels and income disregards.

Now you have the latest information which I have received. Hope it helps you with our Medicaid information.

Hope you have a great day!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab