- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
American Indians need more Obamacare benefits education, says GAO
Government investigators say more than half of Americans Indians and Alaskan Natives — “hundreds of thousands” of them — will be eligible for benefits tied to Obamacare, but federal officials are not doing enough to link them with coverage options that kick in next year.
The Government Accountability Office said the Indian Health Sevice and the federal Medicaid office need to reach out to the affected populations because in 2014 they could be newly eligible for Medicaid — at least in states that choose to expand the program — or subsidies that will begin to offset the cost of health plans purchased through state-based exchanges.
The Medicaid category is a moving target, since the Supreme Court said states can opt not to expand the federal-state entitlement for the poor without losing existing federal funds for the program.
“While it is still unclear which states will opt to expand Medicaid, their decisions may affect a large proportion of American Indians and Alaska Natives, as GAO estimates that potential new enrollment could include about a quarter of this population,” the study said.
So far, about half of the states are moving to expand the program under President Obama’s reforms.
If all the states expanded Medicaid, GAO said that new Medicaid enrollees among the American Indians and Alaskan Native population could exceed more than 650,000 out of 2.4 million people who identify as part of the natives groups alone, or almost 1.2 million out of the 4.8 million who identify with one of the groups and another race.
The study said in Oklahoma, “tens of thousands” of Indians could be affected by the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid to those making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
More than a third of American Indians and Alaskan Natives may be eligible for premium tax credits to defray the cost of insurance on state exchanges, which open Oct. 1, the study said.
Specifically, it said about 832,000 who identify with one of the native groups alone and 1.7 million who identify with one of the group and another race would be eligible for the credits.
Investigators said while the federal government made some strides to inform the affected population of their options, many facilities and tribes reported receiving little or no information about potential benefits.
Additionally, some federal officials reported they had delayed outreach while waiting for the Supreme Court’s June 2012 ruling on Obamacare and state-based decisions on whether to expand Medicaid.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In rare bipartisan move, Congress tackles long-standing Medicare issue
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- Key Obamacare official: Last two months much harder than anyone hoped
- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calls for review of Obamacare rollout woes
- More than a quarter million sign up for Obamacare in November
Latest Blog Entries
- Calif.: Give 'gift of health' by pledging cash for the uninsured
- Tensions hit boiling point over Obamacare enrollment figures, error rates
- Young, uninsured adults vital to Obamacare are not keen on enrolling: New Harvard poll
- Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will promote Obamacare at Mall of America
- HealthCare.gov employs a new look once again
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Dr. Ben Carson disavows efforts at presidential draft
- STEVENS: Resisting the seduction of housing speculation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topics will include politics, religion, race, culture, and anything else that needs to be discussed...
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow