Arkansas report finds little additional federal costs would result from state's 'private option' for Medicaid expansion

The report, issued by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, found that the plan would add less than 15 percent to federal health care costs in the state. In Florida, an alternate Medicaid plan was unveiled and slated for a hearing by a key Senate panel. In addition, news outlets offer reports from Texas, Wisconsin and Kansas.

Reuters: Arkansas Health Plan For Poor To Add Limited Federal Costs: Report
A cost analysis released on Monday shows that a state plan to move Medicaid-eligible low-income citizens into a "private option" under upcoming federal healthcare exchanges would result in little additional federal costs. The report by the state Department of Human Services, with input from the Arkansas Insurance Commission and consultants, addresses concerns that private insurance would cost up to 50 percent more than standard Medicaid (Parker, 3/18).

The Associated Press: Ark. DHS Releases New Estimates For Plan To Allow Medicaid To Purchase Private Insurance
A plan to use Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for newly eligible recipients would add less than 15 percent to federal health care costs in the state, according to new estimates that the Arkansas Department of Human Services released Monday. DHS officials said it's also possible that the so-called 'private option' plan would add no additional federal costs (Nuss, 3/18).

Health News Florida: Sen. Negron Unveils Alternative Plan
"Healthy Florida," Sen. Joe Negron's plan to cover 1 million low-income working adults, is now in writing and has been placed on the agenda for Thursday's meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee. SPB 7038 is likely to get a respectful hearing there, since Negron chairs that committee. The bill is posted for reading online, with the pertinent section beginning at line 1077 (Gentry, 3/19).

Bloomberg: Perry Pressured By Texas Businesses Over Medicaid Refusal
Chambers of commerce representing companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB) are challenging Texas Governor Rick Perry and lawmakers to expand health care for the poor in the state with the highest percentage of uninsured people. The chambers of five cities are sending lobbyists to press Republican leaders to increase Medicaid coverage under President Barack Obama's health-care law (Mildenberg, 3/18).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Scott Walker Medicaid Decision Could Cost Wisconsin Employers $36 Million
Caught between President Barack Obama's health care law and Gov. Scott Walker's resistance to it, Wisconsin employers could pay up to $36 million more in federal taxes next year, a new study has found. Walker last month rejected expanding the state's BadgerCare Plus health care program to the full limits called for and funded under the federal health care law. The federal government is supposed to pay the largest share of expanded coverage through 2020, but Walker has said he's not convinced it will be able to sustain its part of the deal - in which case the costs could fall back to the state. However, a national study by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. estimates that Walker's decision could leave Wisconsin employers with federal penalties of between $24.1 million and $36.1 million a year (Stein, 3/18).

Kansas Health Institute: Kansas On Track For Oct. 1/Medicaid/Insurance Exchange Connection
After months of trying to dance around the politically charged issue, the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback has openly acknowledged that the $139 million Medicaid enrollment system that it is building will be interconnected with the online health insurance exchange required by the Affordable Care Act, and that the system will be ready to go by the Oct. 1 federal deadline (Cauthon, 3/18).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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