Connecticut is among at least five states that plan to adopt the Affordable Care Act earlier than required by the federal government. The new legislation will expand Medicaid benefits to a much wider audience. This will impact the long-term care of all Connecticut residents, especially Medicaid recipients.
The regulations are being challenged by a group of other states that dispute the act. If the Supreme Court allows the law to stand, its effects are sure to be felt because the law provides more Americans with health insurance. An estimated 16 million additional people would be covered by the expansion when it goes into effect in January 2014.
The main argument for the states that are challenging the law is that they will be made to pay for the expansion against their wills; however, the federal government is picking up the tab for the first 10 years of the expanded program.
Some have already expressed concern if there will be enough doctors for the influx of Medicaid patients. There are already too few doctors in pediatrics and family practitioners, and these are the specialties most likely to see Medicaid patients.
This shortage of doctors can hurt patients already enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare by making them wait longer to see a doctor. Thoughtful Medicaid planning can help prevent this upheaval and ensure the protection of assets. Medicaid does not cover in-home care or long term care, so planning is required for individuals who may qualify for Medicaid to remain in their homes.
Others point out the health care law does include student-loan forgiveness for future doctors and more teaching hospitals -- each provisions that will ideally ease the need for physicians.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Medicaid Expansion Is a Key Part of Affordable Care Act," Lisa Esposito, March 22, 2012