Thursday, July 31, 2014

In Kentucky, Obamacare Saving More People and Money

Yeah, to the extent Kentucky is not - yet - fucking Kansas, you can thank Obamacare.

Joe Sonka at Fat Lip:

Larry Kissner, the commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Medicaid Services, told a legislative committee in Frankfort last week that Kentucky’s decision to expand Medicaid not only dramatically increased the number of insured Kentuckians taking advantage of preventative screenings, but also the amount of Medicaid reimbursements received by health care providers, particularly hospitals.

One piece of new information revealed was the number of people who signed up for Medicaid through Kynect by the April deadline who are part of the state’s new Medicaid expansion: 290,000, which makes up 88 percent of the 330,000 total, meaning only roughly 40,000 were previously eligible for Medicaid and signed up through the so-called “woodwork effect.” Even though these 40,000 signed up through Kynect, this has not produced a boom in the number of Kentuckians signed up through traditional Medicaid, whom the state has to pay for 30 percent of their costs, as opposed to zero for those under the expansion. As you can see in the numbers provided below, the amount of people signing up for traditional Medicaid actually went down compared to last year: 
While rural hospitals in Kentucky still face unique challenges that must be addressed, including how well Medicaid managed care is able to meet the increased demand for providers, the rosy estimates given by Gov. Beshear last year on the effects of embracing the Affordable Care Act appear to be coming to fruition. The question still remains whether Kentucky’s legislature will decide to continue these efforts next year, or whether a possible new Republican majority in the state House will decide to roll back the clock.

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