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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Ind. Gov't. - Option not to expand Medicaid could leave 290,000 Hoosiers uncovered

According to this lengthy, must-read story (because it presents the issues clearly and comprehensively) by JK Wall of the IBJ:

The health reform law pledged Congress to pay the entire cost of the Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2016, and then relied on states to ramp up to pay 10 percent of the program by 2020.

If Indiana refuses to expand its Medicaid program as called for under the law, all adults and children with household incomes above the federal poverty limit but not higher than 138 percent of the poverty limit will still be eligible for government subsidies to buy private health insurance.

But it is parents with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty limit and above 24 percent of the limit—as well as all childless adults below the poverty limit—that would be left out if Indiana did not expand its Medicaid program.

For hospitals, those 290,000 Hoosiers are the most likely patients to not pay their bills. And while Medicaid’s payments aren’t great—only about 60 percent of hospitals’ costs—getting 60 cents on the dollar is far better for hospitals than the 10 cents or less hospitals typically collect on unpaid bills, known as bad debt.

Also, most hospitals would write off care provided to patients in poverty as charity care, collecting nothing.

“Clearly, for our industry, we would rather see the coverage in Medicaid,” [Doug Leonard, CEO of the Indiana Hospital Association] said.

[More] The public radio show, Sound Medicine, produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine, today looks at the Affordable Health Care Act. Listen here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 1, 2012 12:21 PM
Posted to Indiana Government