KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid Expansion News: Wis. Gov. Wins Federal Nod For Controversial Plan

And other states are dealing with Medicaid expansion issues as well.

Modern Healthcare: Wisconsin's Controversial Medicaid Plan Gets Federal Nod
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won federal approval Thursday to expand Medicaid coverage to as many as 83,000 low-income childless adults while ending coverage for about 77,000 childless adults who earn between 100% to 133% of the federal poverty level. Those taken off the state's Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, will be directed to the new health insurance marketplace created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Dickson, 1/10).

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 83,000 Of State Poor To Get BadgerCare Coverage Under Federal Waiver
At the core of the governor's vision for the state's health care marketplace is the shift of some patients from BadgerCare coverage for the needy onto subsidized federal markets for private insurance called exchanges. ... Legislation approved by Walker and GOP lawmakers requires some 77,000 adults in BadgerCare with incomes above the poverty line — $23,550 for a family of four — to be dropped from that state Medicaid coverage (Stein, 1/9). 

Meanwhile, in Nevada --

The Associated Press:  Nevada Medicaid Enrollments Surge
Nevada's Medicaid enrollments swelled to more than double the number projected in the last quarter of 2013 as people who were eligible but never signed up before sought health insurance coverage mandated under the federal health care overhaul, officials said Thursday. From October through the end of December, the Medicaid caseload increased by 10,483 to 341,106, said Mike Willden, Health and Human Services director (Chereb, 1/9).

Las Vegas Review Journal: Nevada Medicaid Caseload Jumps; Obamacare Cited
The division historically has processed about 12,000 applications each month for Medicaid and the state’s children’s health insurance, Nevada Check Up. That number hit 38,000 in December, however. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandate that people have health insurance has spurred low-income Nevadans, who may have always qualified but never applied for Medicaid, to seek coverage, Willden (Whaley, 1/9). 

And several other states consider plans for expansion.

The Associated Press: Pennsylvania Health-Care Plan Draws Fire At Last Hearing
The Corbett administration's plan to expand subsidized health care coverage for low-income people includes premiums and job-search requirements that would serve as potential barriers to enrollment, the Pennsylvania chapter of the AARP said Thursday. The testimony from AARP Pennsylvania came during the seventh and final hearing on the proposal to overhaul the state Medicaid program and use federal Medicaid expansion dollars to buy private coverage for an estimated 500,000 newly eligible people under the federal Affordable Care Act (Jackson, 1/9).

The Associated Press: Wyoming Committee Postpones Medicaid Expansion Vote
A Wyoming legislative committee heard impassioned testimony Thursday from citizens urging the state to accept federal money to expand the Medicaid program to cover thousands more low-income adults. The committee plans to take up the issue again Friday. Several witnesses addressing the Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee in Cheyenne said they can't afford health insurance on the open market (Neary, 1/9).

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