KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid News: Colo. Finds Expansion Too Expensive

Two years ago, Colorado officials opted to expand their Medicaid program to poor adults without children. But the cost has been much higher than expected, and they are now scaling back. In other Medicaid news, Kansas decides on a new high-tech system for residents to use to establish eligibility; California insurers question the state's plans for adult day care, and Florida faces a suit over treatment of veterans.

Denver Post: Colorado Scaling Back Medicaid After Drastically Underestimating Numbers, Cost
Two years after lawmakers expanded Medicaid to cover poor adults without children, the state is vastly scaling back the program because the number of people eligible for coverage is nearly three times as high as first projected and the cost of insuring them is almost nine times original estimates. ... Original fiscal estimates projected that when fully phased in, there would be 49,200 people eligible for the program at a cost of $197.4 million per year. ... But recent studies done by the private Colorado Health Institute show there are an estimated 143,000 dependentless adults living at or below the federal poverty level in Colorado. Many of these adults also are homeless men with expensive, chronic health conditions like hypertension, diabetes and HIV. ... if everyone up to 100 percent of the poverty level were covered, the newest estimates show, it would cost $1.75 billion (Hoover, 8/31).

Kansas Health Institute News: Brownback Officials Ink Deal For New Medicaid Eligibility System
Kansas officials have inked a contract for a new Medicaid eligibility system that they said will provide needy Kansans speedy, one-stop sign-up for Medicaid and other social services while reducing the potential for welfare fraud. The deal for the $135 million computerized system is with Accenture, the world's largest consulting firm (Shields, 8/31). 

California Watch: Insurers Question Plan To Cover Adult Day Care Patients
When Gov. Jerry Brown eliminated the Adult Day Health Care program, his administration quickly designated the state's Medi-Cal managed care plans as the entity to ensure that many of the program's 35,000 seniors are cared for. But the trade group that represents 39 California managed care plans has fired off six pages of questions about the plan, asking state officials to "temper beneficiaries' expectations" of what insurers may or may not do to replace the program (Jewett, 8/31).

The Miami Herald: Suit Alleges State Wrongly Denied Medicaid Benefits To VA Pensioners
In a lawsuit filed in federal court late Friday, attorneys argue that (Irene) Czajkowski is one of an untold number of Veterans Administration pension beneficiaries, living in nursing homes across the state, who have been wrongly purged from the Medicaid rolls, in violation of a 1987 injunction spurred by the class-action suit Mitson v. Coler (Beasley, 8/30).

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