The New York times reported that millions of poor and elderly Americans may have to contribute more for health care under a proposed federal policy that would give states more freedom to impose co-payments and other charges on Medicaid patients. Under the proposal, a family of three with annual income of $30,000 could be required to pay $1,500 in premiums and co-payments.
The 2010 health care law extended Medicaid to many childless adults and others who were previously ineligible. The Supreme Court said the expansion of Medicaid was an option for states, not a requirement as Congress had intended. Hoping to persuade states to expand Medicaid, the Obama administration is allowing state Medicaid officials to charge higher co-payments and premiums for doctors’ services, prescription drugs and certain types of hospital care, including the “nonemergency use” of emergency rooms.
With patients paying more, the federal government and states would pay less than they otherwise would.