Christine Vestal, Stateline

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Customizing Medicaid expansion will take time

Customizing Medicaid expansion will take time

March 4, 2014 5:01 am by | 0 Comments

Of the 25 states that already have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, all but Arkansas, Iowa and Michigan simply added newly eligible adults to their existing Medicaid programs….


New Medicaid enrollees 25 times the number of people signed up for private healthcare coverage

New Medicaid enrollees 25 times the number of people signed up for private healthcare coverage

November 6, 2013 9:22 am by | 0 Comments

States are reporting far higher enrollment in Medicaid than in private insurance since the Affordable Care Act exchanges opened Oct. 1. In Maryland, for example, the number of newly eligible…



Native Americans exempt from insurance mandate, but could benefit from marketplace plans

Native Americans exempt from insurance mandate, but could benefit from marketplace plans

October 14, 2013 10:17 am by | 0 Comments

For most uninsured Americans, the motivation for checking out the health insurance exchanges is simple – they could face stiff penalties if they don’t sign up. For Native Americans, the decision is more complicated.
Longstanding treaties wi…


With a shortage of doctors, some states relax laws for nurse practitioners to serve as primary caregivers

With a shortage of doctors, some states relax laws for nurse practitioners to serve as primary caregivers

July 19, 2013 9:55 am by | 0 Comments

When the federal health law takes effect in January, some 30 million more Americans are expected to have health insurance, many for the first time. An already critical shortage of primary care providers may make a doctor’s appointment hard to com…


Medicaid coverage of preventive services varies by state, with some offering no coverage at all

Medicaid coverage of preventive services varies by state, with some offering no coverage at all

July 9, 2013 10:19 am by | 0 Comments

A hallmark of President Obama’s health law is that it requires insurers to cover early detection and disease prevention services at no cost to the patient. The new preventive care guidelines are intended to improve overall health, reduce the numb…


The big question for health insurance exchanges is the cost

The big question for health insurance exchanges is the cost

June 5, 2013 9:36 am by | 1 Comments

Consumers want to know: Will health insurance cost more, less, or about the same on the new health insurance exchanges?
Politicians, for their own reasons, have the same question about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on insurance in 2014.
Califor…


New health exchanges unlikely to end insurance monopolies in some states

New health exchanges unlikely to end insurance monopolies in some states

April 25, 2013 10:37 am by | 0 Comments

In Alabama, if you get your health insurance through your employer and you lose your job, you quickly realize there aren’t a lot options for purchasing coverage on your own. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama has had a virtual monopoly in the state …



Lack of competition might hamper health exchanges

Lack of competition might hamper health exchanges

April 23, 2013 11:14 am by | 0 Comments

The White House sums up the central idea behind the health care exchanges in the new federal health law with a simple motto: “more choices, greater competition.”

But even some stalwart supporters of the Affordable Care Act worry that in many states, p…


Ohio, Arkansas may provide new model for insuring low-income residents

Ohio, Arkansas may provide new model for insuring low-income residents

March 23, 2013 11:20 am by | 0 Comments

The governors of Ohio and Arkansas, seeking a way around conservative state legislators who refuse to expand Medicaid, want to insure some of their poorest residents using a market-based approach.
The federal government appears likely to allow Republic…


N.C. Medicaid director plans internal overhaul instead of federal expansion

N.C. Medicaid director plans internal overhaul instead of federal expansion

March 6, 2013 9:08 am by | 0 Comments

RALEIGH, N.C. – Carol Steckel sides with the governors who have decided not to expand Medicaid. Newly appointed head of North Carolina’s Medicaid program, she will oversee a top-to-bottom internal overhaul. A recent state audit showed the state’s $13 billion Medicaid program spent more on administrative costs than nine other states with similarly sized programs. North Carolina is Steckel’s third state post overseeing federal health programs. She was chief of federal health law implementation for Louisiana and led Alabama’s Medicaid program from 1988-1992 and again from 2003-2010.


Provider shortage may push doctors to end turf war with nurses

Provider shortage may push doctors to end turf war with nurses

December 12, 2012 12:12 am by | 7 Comments

To make healthcare available to all the new patients who will be covered by the 2014 expansion, states are trying to loosen scope of practice laws that prevent nurse practitioners from playing the lead role in providing basic health services.


Tennessee plan addresses churn in Medicaid coverage to save money and support preventative care

Tennessee plan addresses churn in Medicaid coverage to save money and support preventative care

October 22, 2012 9:50 am by | 0 Comments

To mitigate the disruptive effects of churn on families and the health care providers who serve them, some states are easing application and renewal requirements so that Medicaid beneficiaries can maintain coverage for at least 12 months.