This year, several states passed budgets that expand oral health coverage for adults in Medicaid. Expanding this coverage goes a long way to improving overall health, making oral health care more accessible and affordable, and reducing unnecessary emergency room costs to both states and individuals. Now that state advocates and policy makers are planning for 2018 budgets, it is important to learn from the progress that was made, where these policies fell short, and consider how threats to oral health could also arise in state budget processes.
In the 2017 elections, Maine voters took control at the ballot box to expand health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. The decisive win--with nearly 60 percent of the vote-- shows the popular support for Medicaid expansion in Maine, where the governor has vetoed the state legislature's repeated efforts to expand coverage.
The lesson of the campaign will be shared in the coming year with other states like Utah and Idaho, where ballot initiatives give voters a chance to move Medicaid expansion efforts ahead after years of stalling by conservative policymakers.
Today, in a speech to the National Association of Medicaid Directors, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced that the Trump Administration is approving Medicaid waivers that impose work requirements on adults. These requirements are a deplorable break with decades of Medicaid policy, a threat to the one in five Americans who depend on the Medicaid program, and an abuse of the Medicaid waiver authority. This decision is wrong both on legal and policy grounds.
On Veterans Day, we honor the servicemen and servicewomen who have sacrificed for our country. A critical way lawmakers can do right by veterans is to ensure they have comprehensive health coverage.
There is a common misconception that all vets are covered under the Veterans Administration (VA) health plan, but only 40 percent of all veterans were enrolled in the VA in 2014. Millions of veterans—1 in 10—use Medicaid to either supplement VA coverage, or as their only source of health insurance.
Last week, the administration issued its proposed “Notice of Benefits and Payment Parameters” rule to set standards for health insurance sold in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces in 2019. These changes would undermine some core consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act. If this rule becomes final, it could damage health coverage and care for families in several ways. Here are five areas that raise concerns.
While Congress delays extending CHIP funding, states are grappling with what they might do if the money doesn’t come soon. Utah announced that it would restrict eligibility benefits, while Minnesota sought to use unspent funds from other programs. In the coming weeks, more and more states will begin to announce what they will do.
Lost in the reporting about the political negotiations over CHIP is the impact this funding delay could have on the 9 million children on CHIP and their families.
Mostly by granting huge tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations, the new tax bill would increase the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
If a tax bill that explodes the deficit becomes law, it will set the stage for massive cuts to health programs like Medicaid, marketplace financial assistance, and Medicare. Health care consumers and their advocates thus need to pay careful attention to the tax debate.
Families USA’s Health Action 2018 conference will play a critical role in shaping the future direction of health care, and you really can’t afford to miss it! This year, we will be “Staying Strong for America’s Families”, as we continue to fight for quality, affordable health care for all. If you still haven’t registered, here are five reasons why you won’t want to miss Health Action 2018:
The Affordable Care Act marketplace is open! During Open Enrollment, occurring from November 1 to December 15, 2017, consumers can enroll in health coverage for 2018. No one can be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition and all health insurance plans include free preventive services and cover a set of essential health benefits.
Enrollment assistance is available to anyone looking to enroll through the marketplace. Since last year there have been changes to plan options and pricing, so it is important to shop around for a plan that is the right fit. However, no changes have been made to the financial assistance that is available to help people afford coverage and care, and most people who shop on the marketplace qualify for financial help.
While Democrats and Republicans agree that funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should be extended for five years, the House Republicans recently released a partisan proposal that would rely on harmful policy changes to finance CHIP and community health centers.
A month past the deadline to renew expiring CHIP funding, Congress still has not come together to advance a bipartisan bill that continues more than 9 million children's health coverage. For October, states and the federal government patched together enough funding to keep the program afloat. Beginning in November, however, a growing number of states will start sending families notices that their children are losing or being denied CHIP, despite qualifying for coverage.