On Friday, the state of Indiana was granted the approval of the federal government to now require adult recipients of Medicaid in the state by way of the Affordable Care Act to be required to work. Indiana is the second state in the country to add this stipulation.
Individuals participating in Medicaid that fail to submit paperwork demonstrating continued eligibility for the program in a timely manner will lose benefits and not be able to reapply for three months.
More than 91,000 Medicaid enrollees in the state have had their benefits terminated for failing to complete the process for redetermination of eligibility requirements since November of 2015. To remain eligible for the process applicants must provide family size and proof of income in addition to other information in order to determine whether or not they still qualify for Medicaid coverage.
Before the implementation of these latest rules, applicants could reapply anytime for benefits. Officials for the state report that approximately one-half of the Medicaid participants that fail to complete the re-eligibility process are in fact still eligible for the program.
This new cause for Medicaid lockouts is an additional one the state had in place already in response to individuals that did not pay monthly premiums while having an income of more than $12,200 for a single individual. Lockouts for these individuals are triggered upon failure to pay premiums for two consecutive months. Data provided by the state of Indiana showed that in the first two years of this experiment 10,000 Medicaid recipients had their benefits terminated.
Indiana and Rhode Island have both made changes to their Medicaid programs. This has cut costs and increased the level of care causing an upswing in their patients satisfaction levels. Patients love the idea of staying at homes instead of having to live in an institution. The reforms made to Medicaid also give the patients better outcomes and much more independence which was responsible for the soaring satisfaction rate. The changes made were responsive, imaginative and customized to reflect the needs of the patients. Although less money needed to be spent, the health and experiences of the patients showed a marked improvement. The words less money was spent need to be repeated and emphasized.
There is no doubt the Medicaid reform implemented by Indiana is better. Indiana has long been referred to as the Hoosier state and has a reputation for pushing health savings accounts or HSA’s. When these are combined with health insurance with a high deductible the medical expenses can be catastrophic. The observations of Indiana have concluded approximately 96 percent of all employees have voluntarily enrolled in health plans with a consumer driven option. For the first four years these plans were offered to employees of the state there was a 10.7 percent annual savings for the state. When the employees used hospital emergency rooms it was not only at lower rates but resulted in less office visits with their doctors, more generic medication being prescribed and a lower cost for prescriptions. For more details on Indiana’s changes to Medicaid please visit https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveforbes/2017/06/20/is-real-medicaid-reform-possible-two-states-indiana-and-rhode-island-show-that-it-is/#599447707a07.
When a patient is responsible for their money for health care they spend it carefully and receive a much better outcome. What Indiana patients have not spent in their accounts for Personal Wellness and Responsibility can be rolled over. Medicaid enrollees in Indiana who are not disabled will receive $2,500 in their accounts.