For today’s health care consumers, the lack of side-by-side information on the price and quality of health care services can be exasperating. Without this information, making an informed decision about which provider to choose for a particular service—such as a surgery, screening, or care for an illness—can be nearly impossible. Providing this information up front is an important step toward the goal of creating a health care system that provides higher-quality health care while controlling costs.
By partnering with health insurance companies, enrollment assisters gain access to plan information and health literacy resources. Assisters can more easily obtain answers to consumer questions about the marketplace plans available to them and troubleshoot consumer problems.
A state's decision to forgo Medicaid expansion affects the staying power of hospitals in rural areas. This map compares recent rural hospital closures in Medicaid expansion states against closures in states that have not expanded Medicaid.
Most of the Nebraska residents who could gain health coverage if the state expands Medicaid are working adults. If Nebraska chooses to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid, those who would qualify for health coverage are families with incomes of up to 138 percent of poverty ($27,310 for a family of three in 2014). Our analysis finds that 73 percent of this population is employed.
With the 2014 elections behind them, governors and other lawmakers in the nation’s Western states are taking a hard look at expanding Medicaid. In the nation’s largest state, Alaska, the new governor may soon expand Medicaid to more than 40,000 low-income Alaskans. Independent Governor William Walker, a former Republican who upset incumbent Sean Parnell in the November election, took office on December 1. During his campaign, Walker promised to expand Medicaid.
This month, Minnesota will be the first state to submit its blueprint for a Basic Health program to the federal government for approval. This is the final blog in our series encouraging states to consider Basic Health as a strategy for providing health coverage to low-income residents.
Here, state advocates share the main factors that contributed to their success in moving Basic Health forward in Minnesota and New York.
Basic Health Programs are a promising option for states to provide affordable health coverage to low-income residents. This month, Minnesota will be the first state to submit its Basic Health blueprint to the federal government for approval. This week we launched a blog series to help states consider whether they should also pursue Basic Health. The first blog explained many of the reasons to establish Basic Health Programs. Today’s blog describes the major features of Minnesota’s proposed Basic Health program. The third and final blog will offer advocacy tips for promoting BHP or similar programs in your state.
When health plans design their provider networks, they need to ensure that these networks are adequate and provide meaningful access to care. The Affordable Care Act established the first-ever federal rights guaranteeing private insurance consumers access to adequate networks.
This week, Minnesota will likely submit its plans for a Basic Health Program (to be called MinnesotaCare) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for approval. In January 2015, Minnesota hopes to launch its Basic Health Program to provide health coverage to low-income families that is more affordable than marketplace coverage. New York is also on the path to implementing its Basic Health proposal in January 2016. In addition to extending health coverage, the two states see several other potential advantages to the Basic Health Program.
Basic Health Programs are one one of several options in the Affordable Care Act for states to further expand affordable health coverage to low and modest-income residents. Basic Health Programs can be more affordable than marketplace coverage, making care accessible to people who may otherwise forego coverage and care.