Health Insurance and Medicaid Expansion in 2019
New Year’s Checklist for Health Insurance
✔ The deductible on your policy starts over on January 1.
✔ The network of doctors and hospitals that are available may have some changes. Be certain to confirm that your doctors are in the network.
✔ What happens if you see an out-of-network provider when it is not an emergency? Some plans do not cover out-of-network providers.
✔ How do you access a doctor when you are traveling? Does your plan provide benefits if you are out of the country?
✔ Check the drug formulary to find out if any of your medications are being classified differently in 2019. If your medication is not on the formulary, ask your doctor to request an exception.
✔ If you have just begun using an HSA qualified health insurance plan, it would be smart to open a Health Savings Account at your bank.
✔ Schedule your preventive care doctor visits. Most plans provide preventive care at $0 charge. Your doctor’s office is familiar with recommended preventive care procedures. It will vary based on age and gender.
✔ You have until April 15 to fully fund your HSA for 2018. The maximum contribution for an individual is $3,450 / family $6,900. Those who are 55 and over, can contribute an extra $1,000. It’s a valuable tax savings tool.
So what happens next with Medicaid Expansion?
Nebraska voters approved Medicaid Expansion in the November General Election. Now the implementation process will begin. The first step will be designing the program. That is the responsibility of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The next phase will be determining the funding for the program costs that Nebraska will be responsible to pay. Medicaid funding includes Federal and State dollars. The proponents of Medicaid expansion argue that the budget dollars are available while opponents are concerned about having to reallocate dollars from other programs or raise taxes. The funding issues will become much clearer when the Nebraska Legislature takes on the debate. The earliest effective date for newly eligible Medicaid recipients is expected to be January 1, 2020. However, there is a lot of work that needs to get done before that date can be determined.