Daily Archives: February 22, 2015

Treating Medicaid patients is charity work.

Treating Medicaid patients is charity work. This bill proves it..

The enthusiasm for expanding Medicaid coverage to the previously uninsured seems misplaced. Improved “access” to the health care system via Medicaid programs surely cannot result in lasting coverage. In-network physicians will continue to dwindle as their office overhead exceeds meager reimbursement levels.

In reality, treating Medicaid patients is charity work. The fact that any physicians accept Medicaid is a testament to their generosity of spirit and missionary mindset. Expanding their pro bono workloads is nothing to cheer about. (emphasis added) The Affordable Care Act’s “signature accomplishment” is tragically flawed – because offering health insurance to people that physicians cannot afford to accept is not better than being uninsured.

After all, improved access to nothing … offers nothing. Inviting physicians to work for less than minimum wage so that politicians can crow about millions of uninsured Americans now having access to health care, is ridiculous. Medicaid expansion is widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots. The saddest part is that the have-nots just don’t realize it yet.

To the consumer, Medicaid seems like a gift. It will work for awhile until it breaks. Also, the consumer is very trusting that their past medical health is a good predictor of their future health. If for some reason, that turns out not to be the case, do you believe you or your spouse or children are getting the best treatment from the Medicaid system?

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Everything you wanted to know about MAGI

MAGI is Modified Adjusted Gross Income. MAGI is important because it is the income that is used to determine subsidy eligibility. I have a one page document courtesy of UC Berkeley Labor Center that is a great starting point and is sufficient for most people.

For those of you that have more complex situation or are simply curious. the best resource I have found is The Advocate’s Guide to MAGI by the National Health Law Program. It is almost 100 pages of in depth information on determining MAGI for complex situations.

Download (PDF, 1.65MB)

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Avoid the health exchange if you’re NOT subsidy eligible… Here’s why

Video: ObamaCare exchange not allowing addition of newborns to policies « Hot Air.

Let’s just say it’s one giant PITA.

Actually, no it wouldn’t be “more affordable” for families already paying for family coverage, which would likely be most of those seeking to add a newborn to their policy. And if they don’t qualify, then it’s a moot point anyway. That eligibility could have been determined through the ObamaCare exchange, had it been properly designed to deal with additions of newborns.

Instead, thanks to the run-around Healthcare.gov requires, families end up running out of time to add their newborns to their policies — and health insurers can’t step in and assist them any more:

Sure enough, CHIP denied her baby. Now when she turns to the marketplace to try and add her daughter, they turn her away.

“They denied us, saying we went over our time limit and there was no evidence we tried adding her to our insurance,” Maggie said.

Maggie says she protested sending marketplace workers copies of their own emails promising to extend the window but it did no good.

One executive from a Utah insurer says anyone who gave birth in 2014 will have the same problem, and it’s mystifying to Shaun Greene. “Insurance companies have been doing that for years,” Greene told KUTV about adding newborns to policies. “It’s not difficult.” Not until government takes it over, that is. (emphasis added)

I have not endured this particular situation in Colorado but have had some that are similar. However, I can say that Connect for Health Colorado is pretty good at creating incident numbers and allowing enrollment once the situation is resolved.

In Colorado, and apparently with healthcare.gov, almost any issue that isn’t a “straight enrollment” ends up being delayed. In the minds of the consumer, they are dumbfounded by the apparent incompetence. I have had two cases of adding family members, neither one has gone smoothly. In one situation, the family member was added the day after the enrollment was done. It took over 40 days and a plea to Connect for Health management to get this resolved.

This Rube Goldberg of a healthcare law boggles the mind.

If you’re not subsidy eligible, DO NOT use the exchange. In this case, it serves no purpose. However, if you are subsidy eligible or you might be, you MUST use the exchange if you want to preserve you eligibility. Even if you don’t want an advanced subsidy (monthly payments), you must use the exchange to claim your subsidy at the end of the year on your tax return.

 

 

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