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Expansion comes to MI, NH (update: & Utah?)
Back when I assumed that I'd be pulling the plug on this website after March 31st, I didn't see the point of keeping track of the states which finally came around and added Medicaid expansion after the end of the Open Enrollment period. Not that I didn't think it was important, mind you; I just assumed that this site would be winding down in early April anyway, so it would be kind of pointless.
However, now that practically every state is extending their enrollment out to April 15 (or beyond, in a couple of cases) for those who started their application before Monday, along with the fact that Medicaid enrollment doesn't have a deadline anyway along with numerous other exceptions, it behooves me to make note of additions to the Expansion party as they come along.
So, to that end, New Hampshire has adopted what appears to be the same unusual "Private Medicaid Option" that Arkansas already has. It sounds like it has a "soft launch" in May, followed by the full program kicking in July 1st:
CONCORD — New Hampshire joined 25 other states Thursday in expanding Medicaid eligibility when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed Senate Bill 413 into law.
The bipartisan legislation will provide health insurance to 50,000 low-income adults in a two-and-a-half year pilot program using private health insurers paid for with federal Medicaid money.
...About 12,000 people who qualify and have insurance through their employers would begin coverage under an existing state program in four to six weeks.
The other 38,000 would go onto the state's Medicaid managed care program July 1 and then move to private insurance during 2016 if a waiver is approved by March 31, 2015. If the waiver is denied, the program would end in six months.
Meanwhile, in my home state of Michigan, Medicaid expansion was approved by a whisker last fall, but doesn't actually kick in until April 1st for no particular reason. It sounds like it's going to have an unusual twist as well:
Michigan’s expanded Medicaid program — a unique version of the longtime federal health plan for poor people — asks beneficiaries to chip in on their medical costs .
But the Healthy Michigan plan, which will go live April 1, offers incentives for healthy behaviors, too. Shedding pounds, kicking a smoking habit or even getting a flu shot, for example, could shavedollars off those costs.
Details still are being worked out when it comes to the incentives and penalties that some say will add personal responsibility to a program that’s enrolling many low-income people who weren’t eligible before — and eventually could cover an estimated 470,000 Michiganders.
The only other states I know of which are non-expansion now but may be soon are Virginia (where Democratic Gov. Terry McAullife is pushing hard to get it through the GOP legislature) and Utah (where GOP Gov. Gary Herbert is trying to arrange for an Arkansas/New Hampshire-style "private medicaid option" deal later this year).