Many on Medicaid refuse to pay $1 for health care

When Indiana expanded Medicaid, it had a small requirement that those on the highest tier of service for Medicaid contribute, even if a little bit, for their own care, an amount on a sliding scale from $1 to $100 a month.  But most people in the program refused to pay even that amount, resulting in their being booted to a lower level of benefits:

More than half the low-income people who qualified for Indiana's alternative Medicaid program failed to make a required monthly payment for the top tier of benefits – a key feature of the program Vice President Mike Pence insisted on as a condition to expanding the health care program when he was Indiana's governor ... the state says only a small share of those who missed a payment ended up losing their health care for the state's required six-month lockout period. Most ended up in a lower tier of coverage with fewer benefits and some cost-sharing requirements.

Recipients must pay between $1 to $100 a month – depending on their income – to enroll in a higher coverage tier, which comes with dental and vision benefits. The HIP Plus level is the only program available to those above the poverty line, while those below can still qualify for the HIP Basic level.

Of the 590,315 Hoosiers determined eligible for Medicaid during the 22 months after Indiana expanded eligibility, 55 percent either never made the first payment or missed one while on the program.

Nearly nine in ten ended up in the lower-tier plan as a result, according to an evaluation done for the state and submitted to the federal government.

"The evaluation makes clear that Healthy Indiana's complicated use of premium payments is not working," said Joan Alker, executive director of Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families. "More than half of the enrollees have missed a payment at some point and as a result are bouncing around in and out of coverage sources or no coverage at all. These are very poor people for whom premiums are a hardship."

What?  One dollar is a hardship?  Ten dollars is a hardship?  For people above the poverty line?  Are we to believe that most of those on this plan can afford cell phones and cable TV and cars and movies but not $10 a month for their own health care?

Of those who left the program after missing a payment, 61% who responded to a survey said they couldn't afford to pay or were confused about the payment process.

What is bill?  What is envelope?  This is more confusing than showing an ID to vote!

Medicaid is simply a redistribution of income scheme.  It has created an entitlement class who feel they should contribute nothing to their health care costs, which is why the cost of a "free" good like health care has skyrocketed.  Perhaps liberals feel they should all be covered because greed is a pre-existing condition.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

When Indiana expanded Medicaid, it had a small requirement that those on the highest tier of service for Medicaid contribute, even if a little bit, for their own care, an amount on a sliding scale from $1 to $100 a month.  But most people in the program refused to pay even that amount, resulting in their being booted to a lower level of benefits:

More than half the low-income people who qualified for Indiana's alternative Medicaid program failed to make a required monthly payment for the top tier of benefits – a key feature of the program Vice President Mike Pence insisted on as a condition to expanding the health care program when he was Indiana's governor ... the state says only a small share of those who missed a payment ended up losing their health care for the state's required six-month lockout period. Most ended up in a lower tier of coverage with fewer benefits and some cost-sharing requirements.

Recipients must pay between $1 to $100 a month – depending on their income – to enroll in a higher coverage tier, which comes with dental and vision benefits. The HIP Plus level is the only program available to those above the poverty line, while those below can still qualify for the HIP Basic level.

Of the 590,315 Hoosiers determined eligible for Medicaid during the 22 months after Indiana expanded eligibility, 55 percent either never made the first payment or missed one while on the program.

Nearly nine in ten ended up in the lower-tier plan as a result, according to an evaluation done for the state and submitted to the federal government.

"The evaluation makes clear that Healthy Indiana's complicated use of premium payments is not working," said Joan Alker, executive director of Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families. "More than half of the enrollees have missed a payment at some point and as a result are bouncing around in and out of coverage sources or no coverage at all. These are very poor people for whom premiums are a hardship."

What?  One dollar is a hardship?  Ten dollars is a hardship?  For people above the poverty line?  Are we to believe that most of those on this plan can afford cell phones and cable TV and cars and movies but not $10 a month for their own health care?

Of those who left the program after missing a payment, 61% who responded to a survey said they couldn't afford to pay or were confused about the payment process.

What is bill?  What is envelope?  This is more confusing than showing an ID to vote!

Medicaid is simply a redistribution of income scheme.  It has created an entitlement class who feel they should contribute nothing to their health care costs, which is why the cost of a "free" good like health care has skyrocketed.  Perhaps liberals feel they should all be covered because greed is a pre-existing condition.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

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