Scammers Abound with Health Care Reform Starting Soon

September 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Alexis @ 1:22 PM

Michelle Singletary has done it again.  I love her columns.  Read her latest column on how to watch out for scammers pretending to help you enroll under the Affordable Care Act.

A few hot tips:

  • If you get an unsolicited call regarding health care insurance, hang up.
  • Never give out personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account or Social Security numbers or your date of birth to unfamiliar callers.

Read the entire column here.

What Happens to My Special Needs Child’s Health Care Coverage When She Turns 18?

February 6, 2009

The idea of a special needs kid turning 18 can be scary – that is when she is legally an adult and things start to change.  In another post I will address her legal decision-making power.  This post looks at health care coverage. 

If your child is on your private health insurance policy (i.e., the family plan you have through your employer), the good news is that she should be covered through age 25, so long as she is still your “dependent,” meaning that she receives over one half of her financial support from you.  After 25, if she is not employed, you will probably need to look at MassHealth. 

On the other hand, if your child has been on MassHealth as a minor, her current coverage will end somewhere between 18 – 22, depending on which program she has been enrolled in.  The good news here is that there are several MassHealth programs that she can switch over to as an adult.  

A word of warning – there are many different MassHealth programs, and they each of different enrollment criteria.  The enrollment process itself is long, tedious, and frustrating.  (If you’ve dealt with MassHealth in the past, you already know this.)  So if you are planning to enroll your child in MassHealth as an adult, get started on that process early.  Record-keeping is critical.  Keep all receipts related to medical care and medical purchases (doctor’s visits, prescriptions, equipment, even the little things from the pharmacy). 

The Boston Children’s Hospital and the Boston Bar Association wrote a good guide on this topic, see chapter 7 here

MassHealth (Medicaid) Programs for Kids

February 4, 2009

Some children don’t have private health insurance coverage through their parents, as a matter of fact, lots of kids – one in four Massachusetts children is on MassHealth (Medicaid). 

Applying for MassHealth is very confusing – there are several programs, they each have different enrollment criteria, and they provide different levels of coverage.  Check out this guide, produced by Children’s Hospital and the Boston Bar Association – chapter 3.  Scroll down to page 10 for a good overview of several different MassHealth programs.  The guide is written for parents of kids with mental health issues, but the insurance chapter applies to all kids.  

Rising Unemployment Means Rising Uninsured

January 12, 2009

Filed under: Medicaid (MassHealth) — Tags: , , — Alexis @ 10:23 AM

Rising numbers of unemployment inevitably lead to a significant number of people losing their employer sponsored health insurance.  Where do these people turn for insurance?  States provide Medicaid for people who meet their income and asset requirements.  Medicaid is much more generous with children, even the children of parents who themselves have too much money or assets to qualify.  So hopefully most kids will still have coverage.  But what about the adults?

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that does extensive nonpartisan, high quality research into health care finance matters, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, recently released a daunting report.  Their figures estimate in 2009, 5.9 people will lose their employer coverage, Medicaid and SCHIP (for kids) will pick up 2.4 million, and 2.6 million people will remain uninsured.  State governments provide some assistance to hospitals who treat uninsured, but of course with declining tax revenues, there will be less funding available for such reimbursement (the “compensated care pool.”)

Where will the funding come from to cover the 2.4 million new MassHealth and SCHIP enrollees?  And what about increasing funding to cover more of the people left uninsured?  Medicaid (and Medicare) already make up unwieldy percentages of state and federal budgets.  President Obama and his team have announced that they will take on these programs.  It will be a difficult but very worthy project.  I expect that NAELA, the organization supporting the nation’s elder law and disability law attorneys, will provide leadership on this issue.  Our organization has many individuals well schooled in these issues and passionate about redesigning the health care system to make it serve more people more effectively.