Monday, February 09, 2015

Buckeye Medicaid Dumping

Glancing into his crystal ball in 2009, co-blogger Mike had some harsh words for the folks running Medicaid:

"Why has Medicaid failed to protect the poor? Medicaid is the government program expressly established to provide adequate medical insurance for the poor. Why is it not doing so? Why has our government left so many of the poor without access to medical insurance?"

Flash forward 5 years or so, and we find that not much has changed:

"Medicaid could dump 500,000 Ohioans in 6 months ... All are poised to lose benefits for failing to submit information needed to confirm that their household income falls within Medicaid eligibility guidelines."

And of course, this redounds negatively on Gov Kasich's (foolish) decision to expand the program, multiplying the effects.

So what's the problem?

There are several, actually:

First, all of these folks are required to "re qualify" annually; that is, to prove that their economic woes haven't let up. That they failed to do so is, ultimately, on them. But the state, having initially approved them does have an obligation to remind them of this requirement. The traditional method is via snail mail, but some of these "Some problems ... may have been caused by apartment numbers being placed above recipient’s names on envelopes, preventing them from being delivered."


And the notices, written (as is appropriate) in English, went to at least some folks who "speak other languages." I would say that's their problem, not the taxpayers'. And up to a third of the notices were returned as "undeliverable."


Talk about burying the lede, though:

"About 2.9 million poor Ohioans receive Medicaid."

Given that the state is home to just shy of 12 million people, has it occurred to someone in charge that having 25% of your population on Medicaid might indicate just a wee little problem?

Way to go, Guv.

[Hat Tip: Co-blogger Bob V]
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