Works! — As a Portal Into Medicaid Limbo

Healthcare.govIf you want your health care, you can
keep banging away on the federal Obamacare exchange website until
you get routed to taxpayer-funded Medicaid. But you might not get
to keep that Medicaid coverage, because you don’t necessarily
qualify, no matter what the nice, if slightly confused, robots at say. But, at least you’ll have plenty of company.
The vast majority of people getting enrolled in coverage through
the website are being signed up for Medicaid. We just don’t yet
know how many of them will actually get covered by that

Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute points out in the New York

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6
million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far.

The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually
signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt
both federal and state governments.

That’s no joke! My own Arizona, which has a comparatively lean
and mean version of Medicaid in the form of the Arizona Health Care
Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), has seen costs rise by 98 percent
from 2004 to 2014
(PDF). In Arizona, AHCCCS is only the second
most expensive budget item, while “For most states,” points out
Tanner, “Medicaid is the single-largest cost of government,
crowding out education, transportation and everything else.”

But hold on there! Many of those people being routed to Medicaid
by are arriving in the wrong location. Reports

USA Today

When consumers applying for insurance put their income
information into subsidy calculators on — the
exchange handling insurance sales for 36 states — it tells them how
much financial assistance they qualify for or that they are
eligible for Medicaid. If it’s the latter, consumers aren’t able to
obtain subsidies toward the insurance, although they could buy
full-priced plans.

If the Medicaid determination is wrong, consumers should file an
appeal with the federal marketplace, says Department of Health and
Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters, but she says she does not
have an estimate on how long that would take.

Brokers are reporting that some of their clients are in
insurance limbo as they wait for the error to be corrected by HHS
or their states so they can reapply.

Jessica Waltman, top lobbyist for the National Association of
Health Underwriters, says she’s heard a number of reports from
around the country of people making as much as $80,000 a year being
told they qualify for Medicaid on

Yeah… That’s a mistake.

Nobody seems entirely sure how much chaos has been created yet.
Basically, officials don’t yet know what they don’t know. But
there’s plenty of uncertainty to go around for state budget
planners as well as people who just want to buy some health
coverage without a hassle.

from Hit & Run

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