After Elections, More Medicaid Expansion Likely

Less than a year after low-income Arkansans started receiving health coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s controversial Medicaid expansion, the state is declaring its so-called “private option” experiment a success. Hospitals saw fewer uninsured patients, state coffers were spared millions in health care costs and private insurers reported record-low premium hikes. Most important, Arkansas’ uninsured rate fell from 23% to 12%, the sharpest drop in the country.

But lawmakers in Arkansas, where Gov. Mike Beebe is a Democrat and the legislature is controlled by Republicans, have already asked the federal government for adjustments to their groundbreaking plan, under which Arkansans used Medicaid dollars to purchase private health insurance on the insurance exchange created under the ACA. Meanwhile, other states are customizing their own alternative approaches to expanding Medicaid to cover adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level ($16,105 for an individual). “It’s an iterative process,” said Matt Salo, director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. “States are probing the defenses of the HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) fortress to see what they can get approved,” he said.

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court made the federal health law’s Medicaid expansion optional for states, […]

By |October 28th, 2014|Medicare/Medicaid|Comments Off

Agencies Contact One in Five About Medical Debt

One in five U.S. adults – an estimated 51 million people – will be contacted about medical bills by a collection agency in 2014, according to a study by NerdWallet Health. Americans pay three times more in medical debt to collection agencies than they pay for credit card and bank debt combined, the study found.

Hospital billing errors result in overcharges of up to 26%, according to the study. Sixty-three percent of American adults say they receive medical bills that cost more than expected; 57% say they receive medical bills that confuse them; and 73% agree they could make better health decisions if they knew the cost of medical care before receiving it.

Between 2010 and 2013, U.S. households lost $2,300 in median income even as their health care expenses increased by $1,814. Out-of-pocket spending is expected to accelerate to a 5.5% annual growth rate by 2023 – double the growth of real GDP, according to the study.

In May 2013, NerdWallet Health reported that medical bankruptcy is the top cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. In the last year, there has been a surge of activity intended to lower consumer health expenses.

Most notably, the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and […]

By |October 28th, 2014|Industry News|Comments Off

Insider’s Perspective on Medical Collections in this month’s ACA Pulse News

The latest issue of ACA International’s Pulse news is now available. This month’s issue features articles about medical collections from a presentation at ACA’s 75th Anniversary Convention & Expo, resources for hospitals to help with patient costs, a study on medical debt vs. emergency savings and more.

Read the new issue here.

By |October 27th, 2014|Industry News|Comments Off


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