Medicaid cuts may limit care for new enrollees

Oct 05, 2011

Medicaid cuts may hurt those in need of health and life insurance.

According to Reuters, two dozen states across the country plan to cut at least $4.7 billion from Medicaid plans following four years of budget shortfalls, according to data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and consumer advocacy group Families USA. For those in poor health, this could increase life insurance costs.

The state cuts come three years before Medicaid is due to cover millions of uninsured Americans, Reuters said. The cuts would include reductions in reimbursement rates for doctors, hospitals and other care providers for up to 15 percent. It would also mean higher co-pays for beneficiaries, including children, and the loss of optional benefits, such as preventative care and dental and vision services.

So far, Arizona is leading the charge for cuts, as it suspended new enrollments for adults as a part of a $500 million savings package. The freeze bars access for about 100,000 people in the state.

Those in poor health can still get life insurance, as there are companies that specialize in high-risk applicants. Premiums for those policies can be expensive and the face amount from the claim could be limited.

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