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Monday, August 16, 2010

Expert Q&A: Medicaid and health reform

Many of you have sent in questions about how the new health care law will affect you and your family. We’ve compiled answers for select questions to our experts in a short series to help you navigate changes to the health care system. Here's the latest:

Question: I currently have Medicaid and would like to know how health reform affects my Medicaid?

First off, rest assured, all individuals who are currently covered under Medicaid will continue to receive coverage. Health reform prevents states from enacting Medicaid eligibility cuts between now and 2014. It also prevents your state from making any changes to the program that would make it more difficult for you to keep your Medicaid coverage, such as requiring more frequent recertifications or imposing any additional documentation requirements. In 2014, Medicaid will be expanded to cover all non-elderly Americans with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (approximately $24,350 for a family of three in 2010). Millions more Americans will be eligible for Medicaid as a result of this expansion.

Health reform should not cause any other immediate changes to your Medicaid coverage, but over time, the network of providers available to you may grow. This is because Medicaid’s physician reimbursement levels for primary care services will be increased (to be equal to provider reimbursement rates in Medicare), which may incentivize more doctors to accept Medicaid patients.

For more Q&A with the experts, please visit Mom's Rising here.