Michigan: ACA Medicaid expansion reaches 23% higher than total eligible...w/possible explanation?
At this point, I've stopped even trying to come up with cutesy headlines. Michigan's ACA expansion program, for which supposedly only 477,000 people were supposedly eligible, now claims that over 588,000 Michiganders have enrolled in the program:
Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics
Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 588,641
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)
*Statistics as of March 16, 2015
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.
As I noted the other day, there may be a plausible explanation for this:
I've been following your blog for the past year and a half. It's been a great narration of this journey. The reason I'm writing you is to alert you to a possible "culprit" in the Michigan Medicaid oversubscription. I have not bothered to do any actual work to uncover whether or not it IS the culprit, but thought I'd pass it along to you anyways.
Kevin Orr, emergency manager of Detroit, recently spoke at our conference [ed: the Annual Economic Outlook Conference at U of M in November 2014] and put up a slide about how he restructured all the existing debt. He didn't spend more than a second on it, but one of the big ones was the pension overhang. In a pretty ingenious move, he moved all the retirees onto the federal ACA exchange and agreed to pay some portion (maybe all?) of the premiums. This is a money-saver in part because so many of the retirees qualify for subsidies.
In addition to being an interesting point about how federal money can help troubled cities, I think there might be an increase in people who qualify for Medicaid under this scenario. Previously, they had health insurance. Now, they have a mandate to buy health insurance and a promise of assistance (I'm not sure what form that promise takes, I assume it is capped somehow). It's not hard to imagine that some of these guys went on the exchange and found out that they qualify for Medicaid, and Kaiser might not have estimated with those particular workers in mind.
Anyway, food for thought. If you track it down, it might make for an interesting resolution to a "problem" near to both of us.