KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Problem Transferring Medicaid Enrollment Data Could Leave Some Without Coverage

The difficulty with sending the completed Medicaid applications from the federal website to states for final processing could leave some of the newly enrolled without coverage early next year. To circumvent the problem, administration officials agreed to let states enroll people without their full applications. But that poses potential risks for states.

Politico: Medicaid, Insurance Fixes May Be Big Trouble Later
An Obamacare fix quietly announced on Black Friday could put states at risk for higher Medicaid costs and even fraud. Although Medicaid sign-ups through HealthCare.gov have been considered a rare bright spot in the flawed Obamacare rollout, the federal portal has been unable to send those Medicaid applications to the states for final processing. If states can't receive and complete their work on Medicaid applications by the end of the year, people could go without Medicaid coverage in early 2014 despite having an eligibility determination (Cheney, 12/3).

CQ HealthBeat: Medicaid Workaround Bypasses Healthcare.Gov To Transmit Applicant Data
Federal Medicaid officials will allow states to enroll people without receiving the actual applications they complete through healthcare.gov. The move is a tacit acknowledgement that in most cases the transfer of application information between the federal insurance exchange and the 36 states it serves will not be ready right away (Adams, 12/2).

In the meantime, Wyoming says no to the expansion, and California details how many who contacted the state exchange are eligible --

The Washington Post: Wyoming Governor Says No To Medicaid Expansion
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) said Friday he doesn’t want his state to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage, due to problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act so far. Mead, a longtime opponent of the law, said the federal health-care exchanges set up under the ACA have hurt more than they have helped, undercutting his confidence in the federal government’s commitment to cover 90 percent of the costs of Medicaid expansion into the future (Wilson, 12/2).

California Healthline: Medi-Cal A Hidden Enrollment Success
The Department of Health Care Services last week released enrollment numbers for Medi-Cal-eligible Californians who initially contacted the Covered California health benefit exchange. The department said 143,608 people will likely receive Medi-Cal coverage as a result of contacting Covered California. That's about 40% of all applications completed through the exchange, said Anthony Cava, a spokesperson for DHCS (Gorn, 12/1).

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