The Road Ahead: Medicaid & Medicare

first_img Image created by Christopher Plein, Ph.D., 2018. Return to article. Long DescriptionRecently, I made a community presentation to social workers, education specialists, healthcare prevention workers and other helping professionals in my home state of West Virginia.  Among those in attendance were professionals working with veterans, some of whom are long retired and others more recently separated from military service.The meeting helped my thoughts turn again to how closely military families are tied to the “civilian world.”  I introduced the group to the work that we do in the Military Families Learning Network emphasizing the common bonds that we all share in helping families. We talked about recent trends in Medicare and Medicaid and possible future developments for these two keystones of the American health system.Active duty military families may find that family and loved ones are eligible for these programs due to health conditions, age or economic need.  Those facing retirement and separation from the military also need to consider the road ahead and how Medicaid and Medicare may figure into their plans.Most know that Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for those over 65 years of age.  It also serves those with specific diseases and disabilities.  Medicaid operates as a state-federal partnership providing health insurance for lower income populations as well as those with special health conditions and disabilities.   As we have noted in previous blogs and webinars, these programs are a complex yet vital part of our healthcare infrastructure.For well over a decade, both programs have changed due to various federal legislative and regulatory reforms.  The best known of these is the Affordable Care Act of 2010 which made some revisions to Medicare but most importantly allowed for Medicaid expansion to newly eligible populations of low income adults.Along with demographic changes in our population (many of us are getting older), policy changes are resulting in more and more Americans being covered by either Medicaid or Medicare. Currently, 33 percent of the U.S. population is covered by one or the other helping to bring our overall uninsured rate down to 9 percent.Utilizing helpful data from the Kaiser Family Foundation and comparing these to data on active duty military populations in the states, we offer a quick glimpse of trends in the tables and charts below.As noted in a previous blog, almost half (49 percent) of all active duty military are based in just five states:  California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia.  The table below is from that blog that and relies on data from Defense Manpower Data Center (MDDC).  We’ll call these states the “Big Five.” Texas16%11%15% Source: Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016Both Virginia and Texas lag behind the national average for Medicaid and Medicare coverage.  However, the picture in Virginia may change soon as it has recently passed legislation to expand Medicaid.Because Medicaid and Medicare can figure so prominently in providing assistance to family members, it is worth considering the status of these programs when making location and caregiving decisions.  While Medicare coverage provisions are uniform across the United States, Medicaid varies widely from state to state.One trend that we can anticipate is that more states, even in traditionally “red” regions, will decide to expand Medicaid in order to help lower income adults.  In the 2018 mid-term elections, three states, Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah all approved ballot measures to expand Medicaid eligibility to new low income groups.More broadly, there is growing interest in expanding Medicare coverage to new populations. This would be a real game changer — especially for those who have difficulty accessing care due to health conditions or age. There are active discussions and legislative proposals now being considered to allow those nearing retirement age (say between the ages of 55 and 64) and those with serious health conditions to “buy-in” to Medicare at a reduced premium or to be entitled to the program.  Excellent and accessible analysis and reporting on these developments can be found online through the Kaiser Family Foundation.In the months to come, we should anticipate further conversations about Medicaid and Medicare as platforms for healthcare coverage and access.  New Medicaid expansion efforts in states will no doubt inspire others, but will also have their own share of growing pains and difficulties.  As for Medicare, we can anticipate that both sides of the aisle will give active consideration to ideas on how this program can help those in need.Note: The research assistance of Lonnie Long, MPA student and MFLN Military Caregiving special needs graduate assistant in preparing this blog is appreciated. Georgia17%12%12% North Carolina18%15%11% MedicaidMedicareUninsured United States19%14%9% Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D.  West Virginia University and MFLN Military Caregiving Team Return to article. Long DescriptionSource: Understanding Military Assignment Dynamics in the U.S.: A Look at the Data & Some Questions to Ponder (Plein, 2018).Medicaid & Medicare EnrollmentNow let’s take a look at Medicaid and Medicare enrollment trends in these states.  What we find is an interesting and varied portrait of what is happening.  In California, for example, 36 percent of the population is covered by either Medicaid or Medicare.  To date, California is the only state among the “Big Five” to implement an expanded Medicaid program.  By expanding Medicaid coverage to previously ineligible groups, enrollment numbers have increased.  As the data suggest, this helps to reduce overall uninsured rates. This image (ID: 184954118) was purchased by MFLNMC from iStock.com under member ID 8085767. California25%11%8% Virginia 12%14%10%last_img read more

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Muslim man beaten up in Gurugram, told to remove skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram

first_imgCow vigilantes beat up three in M.P. for possession of beef; police arrest victims first  When Mr. Barkat tried to push the man and run away, the man allegedly tore his shirt. As Mr. Barkat started crying, the men left. Four of them drove away in a motorcycle and two just walked away into one of the alleys in the area.Mr. Barkat’s cousin Murtuja then took him to civil hospital. The hospital authorities made a call to the police.A case has been registered on charges of promoting religious hatred, causing hurt, criminal intimidation and unlawful assembly, among others, at City Police Station in this connection.Haryana BJP condemns incidentHaryana BJP spokesperson Raman Malik strongly condemned the incident saying that his party was against any kind of appeasement but any illegal act would not be tolerated. He said that he had spoken to the police in this connection and directed them to identify the persons involved at the earliest and take action against him as per the law. A Muslim man was beaten by a group of men at Jacubpura in Gurugram on May 25 night after he was told to remove his skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram. No arrests have been made so far.Mohammad Barkat, 25, was returning to his shop around 10 p.m. on Saturday after offering prayers at Jama Masjid in Gurugram when a group of about half a dozen men allegedly accosted him outside a sweet shop and told him to remove his skull cap. “One of the men called me with an offensive word and told me that skullcap was not allowed in this area. When I told him that I was returning from a mosque, he slapped me. He also asked me to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram. When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork,” Mr. Barkat said. He had come to Gurugram earlier this month to learn tailoring.Mr. Barkat claimed that the man allegedly picked up a stick and hit him and also abused him.Also Readlast_img read more

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Hashflags, the new cool on Twitter for 2014 World Cup

first_imgHashflags are the new phenomenon on Twitter. A concept, appearing in its second avatar on the occasion of the football world cup in Brazil, has taken over fans on the popular social media platform.A hashflag allows football fans to display a country’s flag by simply putting a hashtag followed by a three-letter country code. The feature lets fans express the love for their team through an emoticon. #BRA, for instance, when mentioned in a tweet, will automatically put a Brazilian flag after #BRA in a tweet.Twitter has reintroduced its popular hashflags, allowing fans to display their countries flag by simply putting a hashtag followed by the three letter country code.Shakira, who sang ‘Waka Waka’, the official 2010 World Cup song, was among the first users of this popular feature. Twitter launched hashflags in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but it did not catch much attention.The Indian flag, sadly, does not have a hashflag yet because this feature is currently restricted to the 32 participating teams in the football world cup.Shakira, who sang Waka Waka, the official 2010 World Cup song, was among the first users of this popular feature.Clicking on the hashflag code in a tweet takes a user to the team’s official Twitter account, with the exception of Iran which has blocked Twitter. The team’s official Twitter account lists statistics and information of the team.This world cup, Twitter will be tallying all the tweets containing hashflags and unveil the “World Cup of Tweets”. The winner will be the country with the most number of hashflags tweeted.advertisementlast_img read more

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