government

West Virginia Medicaid expansion could save billions

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 4, 2010

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A West Virginia health system reform proposal similar to national legislation under consideration by Congress would reduce health care spending in the state by $2.17 billion between 2009 and 2019.

That's according to an actuarial analysis commissioned by the West Virginia Health Care Authority -- manager of the state's Medicaid program -- and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The estimate is based on requiring individuals to have health insurance, requiring employers to offer it or to help their employees buy it, and expanding Medicaid eligibility to 100% of the federal poverty level for all residents. Low-income residents would see most of the savings.

The report assumes that existing health and insurance trends continue and incorporates population trends predicted by the U.S. Census Bureau, including an older average age for West Virginia residents. The report is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/01/04/gvbf0104.htm.

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