Gov. Cooper says Medicaid expansion is coming on Oct. 1; lawmakers say "not so fast"
Plus: BlueShield of CA announces new project with Microsoft
Good morning and happy Friday. Welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday Pulse Check from FLATLINING.net.
In the news:
Gov. Cooper says Medicaid expansion will start on Oct. 1; legislature says “not so fast”
The North Carolina state legislature remains deadlocked on approving a budget for 2023-2024 which is necessary to make sure the new Medicaid expansion is funded. Governor Roy Cooper (D) has been in the media telling people that it will begin on October 1. It could be a political way to pressure the Republican-controlled legislature to come to an agreement quickly when they return on August 7. If they miss this deadline, the Medicaid expansion will be delayed until December 1. 600,000 patients are expected to join the Medicaid rolls once it takes effect. Read more in Politico.
Michigan grants an extension for Medicaid dis-enrollment
The state Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that those who were sent re-enrollment forms for 2024 can turn them in by July 31. Previously, those forms were due on June 30. So far, the approach has allowed 15,000 more individuals to re-certify their Medicaid eligibility. Minnesota has also extended its deadline to July 31. Read more in Becker’s Payer Issues.
California Watch: BlueShield of CA announces partnership with Microsoft
BlueShield of California announced this week that it will be working with Microsoft to completely rebuild its member database. The service will be called BlueShield Experience Cube and will run on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. BlueShield of CA says it will make information currently available on separate systems integrated in one place. But will they extend it to their provider information database and make it easier to get a copy of a contract and a fee schedule? We shall see. Read more in Becker’s Payer Issues.
Other articles of interest:
Centene posts $1.06B profit in Q2 - Becker’s Payer Issues
LIVE Centene stock price: CNC 0.00%↑
Ron Howrigon on WPTF Radio
Our own president and CEO Ron Howrigon joined Rob Connett on WPTF Radio’s morning show this week to talk about his new book CLEAR!: Reforming Healthcare to Save the US Economy.
You can listen to both parts of the interview here:
The FLATLINING Podcast
This week on the podcast, Ron and I talked a bit about three different healthcare proposals being pushed by the White House and by Congressional Republicans.
First, the Biden Administration wants to reign in short-term health plans. These were intended to be a stop-gap measure for those who lose their insurance because they or their spouse lost a job and they're not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. During the Trump Administration, these were deregulated and allowed to be used for 364 days and renewed several times. The problem is that they do not cover much; the Biden Administration has called them “junk insurance.”
Next up to the plate is a House-passed bill called the CHOICE Act which would expand the use of association plans. Currently, association plans are only available for groups that are in similar industries. For example, a state realtors association could purchase insurance as a “large employer” and then allow their members access through their annual dues. The reforms proposed in the CHOICE Act would allow businesses and industries that are not related to each other to form associations to purchase these plans.
Finally, we have Rep. Chip Roy’s (R-TX) Personalized Care Act which does several things to deregulate Health Savings Accounts.
Ron and I talked about all of these and discussed their pros and cons and how, if at all, they would help stop the sinking ship of our healthcare system.
In our Ukraine segment this week, we are reporting on an effort to train healthcare workers to help victims of violence. The effort comes from the World Health Organization and trains physicians and nurses on the rights of survivors and how to identify and triage the types of care that they may need. Read more from Ukrinform.
I hope all of you are able to beat the heat and stay cool this weekend. I’ll talk to you next week on the podcast.