6 Million Americans Are Eligible For Medicaid But Choose Not To Enroll

6 Million Americans Are Eligible For Medicaid But Choose Not To Enroll
February 02 01:00 2016

Of the 30 million Americans who remain uninsured, an estimated 6 million would qualify for healthcare through Medicaid but have not signed up.

This Wall Street Journal report delves into this so-called “surprising and poorly understood group” that are going without insurance rather than registering for Medicaid. There are still 3 million who do not qualify because states have not expanded the program under the president’s healthcare reform law. In Texas, that donut hole is made up of more than 1 million residents.

And so despite federal promises that the last enrollment period, which ended Sunday, leaped past the targets 10 million enrollees, the administration has a trickier group to wrangle. The Journal says the feds have vowed to give an additional $32 million in grants to reach these folks, about a quarter of the $126 million paid in the past six years.

Quoting the report:

There are at least 13 million more people in Medicaid now than before the law’s rollout in the fall of 2013, and some 71 million people were in Medicaid in September 2015, making it far and away the single biggest source of health coverage in the U.S.

But handling the rush of new applications has been a hefty task in itself for federal officials and their state counterparts. In addition, enrolling the Medicaid-eligible can seem less urgent. That is because people who do meet the qualification criteria for the program can sign up on any day, and even get coverage retroactively for treatment incurred in the previous three months. They also are among the groups of people who don’t pay a penalty for going uninsured.

That is a contrast to how private insurance works, with limited enrollment periods and no retroactive coverage.

Read full story at D Healthcare Daily
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