Two economic indicators have touched new highs recently: the stock markets and the amount of federal payments for Medicaid in Delta County.
It would take an economic guru to explain if there is any linkage between the two indicators.
And while no one can say if the stock markets will continue higher, federal payments for Medicaid in Delta County are expected to do so, Chuck Lemoine, county health and human services director, told the county commissioners Nov. 18.
Federal payments for Medicaid in Delta County reached a new high in October of $1.52 million.
More than half of that amount went to pay for in-home care services and independent living support for seniors, "to keep people out of nursing homes," Lemoine said.
The record Medicaid payments and increasing applications for the program are believed linked in part to the rollout of Obamacare which began on Oct. 1. There are two reasons for that, HHS staff explained.
The first is that Obama-care has increased the number of people who can qualify for the Medicaid program.
The second reason is that in order for anyone to qualify for subsidized rates under Obamacare, they must first apply for and be denied coverage by Medicaid.
For example, Colorado's state health care exchange received 37,000 applications in October according to a website that reports the data. Of those, 34,000 have been applications for Medicaid.
"Medicaid numbers have increased, but we don't have the exact numbers yet," Lemoine told the BoCC. "We won't see the numbers for a few months," Lemoine told the BoCC. "It will take a while for us to put together an analysis."
In the meantime, people continue calling the local health department for answers about Obamacare that the department can't always answer because staff there doesn't have information from the federal government.
"We're coping," Lemoine said.blog comments powered by Disqus