These are sections of healthcare news articles which I thought might catch your eye and may interest you on topics in healthcare. I added the links to each article so you can read “the rest of the story” if you care to do so.
Georgetown Center for Children and Families – What can be found in the News:
“Pandemic’s end could surge the number of uninsured kids” (axios.com)
Once the temporary reforms to Medicaid are lifted the ranks of uninsured children will sell by 6 million or more. The formal end of the pandemic could aggravate this even more.
Why it matters: Gaps in coverage could limit access to needed care and widen health disparities, by hitting lower-income families and children of color the hardest, experts say.
The big picture: Requiring states to keep Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled during the public health emergency in order to get more federal funding is credited with preventing a spike in uninsured adults and kids during the crisis.
In other words, do not be so quick to formally call off the pandemic.
- Children are the biggest eligibility group in Medicaid, especially in the 12 states that haven’t expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.
- The lifting of the public health emergency, which was just extended to July 15, will lead states to determine whether their Medicaid enrollees are still eligible for coverage — a complicated process that could result in millions of Americans being removed from the program.
End of Medicaid continuous coverage may leave millions of children uninsured, analysis finds | Healthcare Dive
Some Key Points:
- As many as 6.7 million children, along with millions of adults, stand to lose Medicaid coverage when the public health emergency expires, according to an analysis from the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy Center for Children and Families.
- Medicaid continuous coverage protection, a provision of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, has been a key healthcare safety net for children in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Uninsured rates for children in those states, the largest of which are Texas, Florida and Georgia, have remained mostly stable during the pandemic likely due to the continuous coverage provision, the report said.
- Congress may provide a solution by requiring 12 months of continuous coverage for children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as the House did in the Build Back Better bill passed last fall, the researchers said. Most of the 12 non-expansion states have enacted this policy, while Florida, Georgia and Texas have not.
Because some people do not give a damn:
Texas, Florida and Georgia have uninsured child rates higher than the national average with Texas and Florida alone accounting for 41% of the country’s uninsured children in 2019, according to the Georgetown researchers.
Everybody Loves CHIP, So Why Isn’t It Permanently Funded? | MedPage Today
WASHINGTON — When Rep. Kim Schrier, MD (D-Wash.), a pediatrician, was asked at the Families USA virtual conference in January about the important healthcare provisions in the Build Back Better Act, there was one item she made sure to mention: permanent funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
“Every year the Children’s Health Insurance Program was used as a negotiating tool, which is so unfair to do to children and to families — to make them a pawn in these arguments,” Schrier said. “To have permanent funding and authorization for CHIP, that gives a sigh of relief to all the families out there who are depending on CHIP for coverage.”
Currently CHIPS is authorized though 2027
California counties, health insurance plans, community clinics, and a major national health care labor union are lining up against a controversial deal to grant HMO giant Kaiser Permanente a no-bid statewide Medicaid contract as the bill heads for its first legislative hearing Tuesday.
The deal, hammered out earlier this year in closed-door talks between Kaiser Permanente and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office and first reported by KHN, would allow KP to operate Medi-Cal plans in at least 32 counties without having to bid for the contracts. Medi-Cal’s other eight commercial health plans must compete for their contracts.
Medi-Cal is California’s version of Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health coverage to low-income people.
More Children Enrolled in ACA Marketplace Coverage in 2022, But Marketplaces Still Remain Modest Source of Health Coverage for Children – Center For Children and Families (georgetown.edu)
New data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show 1.3 million children were enrolled in marketplace plans during the 2022 Marketplace Open Enrollment period, either through the HealthCare.gov platform or through their state’s State Based Marketplace. This represents a 300,000, or 29 percent, increase compared to 2021 child enrollment levels, which was the largest increase in child enrollment since 2016 and a larger percentage increase than for any other age group between 2020 and 2021. This comes after the COVID-19 special enrollment period opened last year also saw more than 300,000 kids newly enroll, indicating that more children under age 18 are now receiving coverage through the marketplaces.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) currently cover more than 40 million children. In comparison, relatively few children rely on the marketplaces for their health coverage.