Who Will Pay For Medicare Expansion In Texas?
Updated: Monday, July 2 2012, 05:37 PM CDT
There is still a lot of confusion over the affordable care act. One concern is if Medicaid is expanded in Texas 1.2 million more people will become eligible and will be seeking health services. Then the question is - who will pay for the expansion?
In Texas, Medicaid is limited for children, the elderly, people with disabilities and pregnant women,
"We really don't have coverage for low income adults and that's what the expansion would do, it would give them the option to cover those adults," says Stephanie Goodman with the Health and Human Services Commission.
For the first three years of the Affordable Care Ac the federal government would pay to help cover the cost of the additional people covered under expansion, after that the state will have to take over.
"Pulling things back is always really difficult, so the legislature is going to have a lot to think about," says Goodman.
Another concern is - will there be enough doctors?
As it is there's a shortage of doctors who take Medicaid because the reimbursement rate is so low, much lower than what a doctor is paid by a private insurance.
"When you expand Medicaid, it's only meaningful if you have real access to care. Giving a lot more people Medicaid coverage if there isn't a doctor there to take care of them isn't going to do us any good," says Goodman.
Under the plan there is a rate increase for doctors who accept Medicaid provided by the federal government, but that's only for two years. After that the state will have to decide whether to pull the reimbursement rate back again.
If Medicaid expansion is approved in Texas a family of three making under $2,100 a month will be eligible for Medicaid.