The households of Flint, Michigan who have suffered from lead exposure will acquire much-required services and Medicaid coverage expansion.
In the month of April 2014, contamination in drinking water started in Flint, Michigan when the region transitioned its water source to the Flint River from its initial source of Lake Huron and the Detroit River. The issue at hand is that corrosion control treatment was not involved in this latest water source and older pipes began leaking lead into the drinking water, which caused primary health issues for many of the residents and particularly kids in this region. Although, last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) declared the extension of Medicaid coverage for the persons of Flint.
The residents of Flint, Michigan who have suffered from lead exposure will gain much-required services and Medicaid coverage expansion. Particularly, HHS seeks to make sure that all kids and pregnant women are offered the services they require to address this public health crisis.
Over 30,000 Medicaid beneficiaries will acquire additional medical services while another 15,000 pregnant women and kids will gain Medicaid coverage, in accordance to a news release from HHS.
The state of Michigan will be extending Medicaid coverage to kids up to 21 years of age along with pregnant women who were gaining drinking water from the Flint River since the month of April 2014 until a date set aside by the governor. These specific residents must have income at no more than 400% of the federal poverty level.
“Connecting kids to primary care contributors who can follow their health as they grow and establish is a critical component of this response and recovery effort,” Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, stated in the release. “The expanded benefits present through this Medicaid waiver offer parents in Flint access to this kind of care and support that may be required to assist their children to overcome possible effects of high lead exposure. The ultimate objective is for kids to thrive.”
Additionally, Michigan is making a program in which pregnant women and kids served by the Flint water system and with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level will be eligible to purchase unsubsidized health insurance.
“Expanding Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands of expectant mothers and youth means the most susceptible citizens served by the Flint water supply can now be linked to a wide range of required health and developmental services, involving lead-blood level monitoring and behavioral health services,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell claimed in a public statement.
The medical services that these residents will have complete access to involve blood tests showing lead levels, behavioral health assistance, and others. The expansion of Medicaid coverage will cover all of the benefits provided among beneficiaries throughout the state and the persons will not be needed to pay premiums or cost sharing.
Case management services will also be expanded through this latest initiative taking place in Michigan. The case management will assist Flint residents to receive medical, social, and educational assistance regarded to the lead contaminated water exposure.
The funding for this program has been scheduled to last for 5 years. HHS and federal support is being given to make sure the Flint residents have approach to safe drinking water. Greater control of pipe corrosion as well as bottled water distribution is also being targeted.
While this specific program is meant to particularly address the water contamination crisis in Flint, Medicaid coverage expansion was originally a huge aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. At this point in period, the Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate has brought healthcare coverage to more Americans than ever before in USA history.
HHS also reported previous week in a news release that the Affordable Care Act has brought healthcare insurance for 20 million persons throughout the USA. When made comparison to the health coverage of USA citizens in the year 2010 when the law was initially approved to early 2016, a “historic reduction” in the number of uninsured occurred when an extra 20 million extra persons gained health insurance.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage,” HHS Secretary Burwell claimed in a public statement. “We have seen development in the previous 6 years that the country has sought for generations. Americans with insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace or through their employers have benefited from better coverage and a reduction in the development in health care costs.”
“Making better the quality and affordability of care for all Americans has always been a pillar of the Affordable Care Act, alongside expanding approach to healthcare,” Burwell elaborated in a release. “The law offers us the tools to put sufferers at the center of their care, make better the quality and help make care more affordable over the long term.”
The extra coverage involves people who gained insurance through Medicaid expansion and the subsidies offered through the state and federal health insurance exchanges. In addition to, young adults under 26 years of age were provided the right to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans because of a provision within the Affordable Care Act.
A report from HHS indicates that 6.1 million young adults between the ages of 19 to 25 years old have health insurance because of the healthcare law. The report also explained that coverage gains surpassed racial and ethnic groups when looking at the years of 2013 to 2016.
Whether it is Medicaid expansion in the midst of the water contamination crisis in Flint or a general deficiency of insurance among huge sects of the American population, the Affordable Care Act has brought forth more chance to make better the healthcare approach around the nation.
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