Tearing Down Barriers That Block Access to Medicaid
LLS believes firmly that all patients and consumers should have access to high quality, stable coverage to ensure that they are able to receive appropriate and timely care. Medicaid plays a vital role in making sure that no one is left without access to such coverage—especially our most vulnerable citizens, like low-income seniors, individuals in nursing homes, children and pregnant women. As such, LLS firmly opposes proposals that restrict meaningful coverage, such as:
- Restrictions based on employment status
- Premium and cost-sharing requirements
- Disenrollment and lock-out periods for failure to pay cost sharing
- Elimination of retroactive eligibility
- Consideration of assets in eligibility determination
The patient impact
Medicaid was created to be a safety net for people with very low incomes, people who are disabled, and some older people. But Medicaid programs are increasingly adopting policies that make that safety net harder to access.
For instance, most patients who receive Medicaid are employed. But policies that have Medicaid restrictions based on employment status require patients to jump through bureaucratic hoops to prove they are working or are too sick to work. Not only does this red tape cause many patients and families to lose access to care, but it also costs taxpayers.
This is just one example of how policies act as barriers that prevent people from getting meaningful health coverage.
It is critical that all states expand Medicaid without delay—and without tactics that violate Medicaid’s very purpose. As a safety net for our nation’s most vulnerable people, Medicaid should be accessible to all: without barriers.