28 Jul 2017

5 State Single Payer and Medicaid Buy-In

5 State Single Payer and Medicaid Buy-In

There have been many changes in the United States over the last few months and years about the health insurance structure that is currently in place. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is the current incarnation of a health insurance industry that has grown and evolved to meet the needs of the American people, generation after generation.
Although the Affordable Care Act has its downfalls, there is currently no suitable alternative being presented to stabilize or improve the health insurance industry in the United States. Individual states are taking matters into their own hands in order to secure their own insurance markets and provide viable health insurance options for their residents. Some large health insurance companies are reducing their policy options available as part of the health insurance marketplace set up under Obamacare, an action that ultimately reduces the number of affordable health insurance plans aimed towards individuals and families who were previously uninsured before Obamacare.
Single Payer Health Insurance
Some states are beginning to take action to prop up their own health insurance marketplaces. Each state has a health insurance marketplace that offers localized health insurance options for residents. Many of the marketplaces allow residents to apply for governmental health insurance subsidies or programs like Medicaid, which helps low-income residents afford a suitable health insurance plan. Unfortunately, changes to the existing federal health insurance structure may result in a lack of funding for these federal programs, leaving individuals and families across the country uninsured.
State single payer health insurance means that instead of having a health insurance marketplace with multiple companies offering competing health insurance plans, one overarching health insurance plan would be available to everyone. This single payer health insurance would eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, employer health insurance, and other current categories of health insurance in order to provide every resident of a state with free health care. Using money from the state budget and federally funded health insurance programs, states like California and New York are attempting to push through legislation that would enact a single payer structure in their states.
Of course, changes to the health insurance structure would take many years, even if the legislation being put forth in California, New York, and Nevada are accepted without changes. There will likely be a few years of struggle while the bill is being passed through the state legislature and is amended for the approval of the majority.
Medicaid Buy-In
Nevada is trying to put forward a health insurance structure that is different from the plans in California and New York. This health insurance restructuring would keep federal health insurance programs like Medicare in place, but would offer more people an affordable health care option under a similar program like Medicaid. Medicaid wouldn’t be offered to everyone, as some people would qualify for their employer’s insurance, other private insurance plans, and Medicare, but it would allow more people to purchase a health insurance plan that is equivalent to Medicaid in what it covers and how much it costs.
The states that are individually trying to change their health insurance structure, be it through a single payer system or Medicaid buy-in, will likely not see these changes for years to come. However, it is important that there is work being done to move towards a more stable and affordable health insurance system in the United States so that residents can benefit from reliable health insurance option for themselves and their families.
Health Insurance Options
Premiums are rising, plan options are few, and many states are struggling to provide their residents with affordable health care options that meet their health and budget needs. The health insurance industry is changing, but states are beginning to come around to the idea that they need to influence the health insurance industry without relying on the federal government for as much help as they were expecting.
States like California, New York, and Nevada are pioneering legislation that would change how their health insurance marketplaces are managed, while Alaska and Oklahoma have already created programs that have stabilized their insurance industries and given residents access to affordable, reliable health care options. There have been successes in health insurance reform from states in the past, just as there have been failures. Some states may choose to implement some aspects of a single payer system, while others may repeal their efforts altogether. Only time will tell how the health insurance industry in the United States will change to meet the needs of its residents.

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