RSS Articles and Information
  • Taking Control of Your Medical Records June 29, 2015
    Leaving your health records solely in the hands of doctors and hospitals is a big mistake. This gives them too much power over your information and increases possibility for errors. When you are in control of your own records, you …
  • High Deductible Plans are Changing Patient Interaction June 26, 2015
    High deductible plans are changing where patients get medical care and how they pay for it. Once a bill exceeds 5% of household income, patients most likely cannot pay for it themselves. Major employers offer high deductible plans (an average …
  • Beet Juice Lowers Blood Pressure June 24, 2015
    A small study in London showed that drinking a cup of beetroot juice significantly lowered blood pressure in hypertensive patients within six hours. After 24 hours, their blood pressure remained lower than those in the control group. The benefits come …
  • Supreme Court Decision on Healthcare Subsidies to Come This Week June 22, 2015
    by Jane Orient, MD The Big Lie of ObamaCare is in the title: the Affordable Care Act. Administration officials invoke “affordable” over and over again. The U.S. Supreme Court could well blow the Democrats’ cover in King v. Burwell if …
  • Shopping While Hungry Leads to Poor Eating All Week June 19, 2015
    A study at Cornell University examined the food selections that a group of shoppers put in their virtual online grocery cart. The shoppers that had not eaten four or five hours beforehand selected 23% more processed junk food than those …
  • Long ER Waits Continue in Canada as Budget Cuts Increase June 17, 2015
    Lee Parker of Ottawa had to wait 48 hours in the Emergency Room before being admitted for heart attack complications. He watched other patients come in, but since there was no room for them, they lay on gurneys in the …
  • Health Benefits of Cucumbers June 15, 2015
    There are hundreds of varieties of cucumber and dozens of colors. Cucumbers are a fruit, not a vegetable, as most people think. They are a good source of phytonutrients with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. The peel and seeds are …
  • Should a Business Offer Healthcare Benefits? June 12, 2015
    Offering healthcare benefits is optional for small businesses, but is important to an employee as one of the most popular benefits in a compensation package. An employer who wishes to stay competitive with other businesses in the community will most …
  • Study Shows Some Hospitals Inflate Prices 1000% June 10, 2015
    A study published recently in Health Affairs shows that hospitals mark up their prices, often 10 times the actual cost. The 50 most expensive hospitals in the US are for-profit and have an average markup of 1010%. Out of network …
  • How to Keep Mosquitos Away June 3, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely In the summer, spending more time outdoors means spending more time out with mosquitos, of which 200 species can be found in the US. It seems to be hard to escape their itchy bites, but protecting yourself …
  • Buying Real Health Insurance is a Crime June 1, 2015
    It’s illegal to sell true health insurance in America. With true insurance, such as auto insurance, we pool our risks to reduce the financial burdens brought on with unforeseen accidents or illness. Insurance originated with churches and labor unions, then …
  • Coffee Bean Extract Lowers Blood Sugar May 29, 2015
    Manufacturers of green coffee extract in Austin, TX conducted a study in India on the effects of unroasted coffee beans on blood glucose. All participants were normal weight with normal blood sugar. All of them had results of lowered blood …
  • Implanted Heart Devices Affected by iPads May 27, 2015
    A new study has found that the magnetic interference from iPads could alter the settings or even deactivate implanted defibrillators. This interference comes from the magnets imbedded in the iPad 2 and its Smart Cover. Magnets in the heart devices …
  • Canadian Cancer Patient Says Korean Surgery Saved His Life May 22, 2015
    Gerd Trubenbach of British Columbia was diagnosed with cancer, as a huge tumor was growing in his neck. His family doctor suggested that the tumor could not be removed and there was nothing else that could be done. The wait …
  • How to Prevent Hemorrhoids May 20, 2015
    Many people have hemorrhoids at some time, and they are a common problem. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal, which can be painful but not usually serious. They are caused from too much pressure on the veins in …
  • Emergency Room Visits Increase with Obamacare May 15, 2015
    Obamacare predicted that expanding health insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits. A new study has found that newly insured people are actually visiting the ER more often, 40% more often than those who are uninsured. …
  • Transparency: Changing the US Healthcare System May 13, 2015
    Ralph Weber, President and CEO of MediBid, is interviewed by David Saltzman of ShiftShapers. Mr. Weber has been in the benefits business since the mid 1990s, serving clients in the US, Canada, and around the globe. A lack of information …
  • Appalachia Sees Increased Cases of Hepatitis C May 11, 2015
    Infections of Hepatitis C, a contagious liver infection spread by blood contact, has more than tripled in Appalachia – Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia – fueled by prescription drug abuse in rural areas. About 73% of patients are under …
  • An American Response to Losing ObamaCare Subsidies May 8, 2015
    by Jane Orient, MD This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court could, in King v. Burwell, uninsure 8 million Americans by finding that subsidies are illegal outside State Exchanges. Some Republicans are saying “Let it burn.” For Democrats, it’s “ObamaCare or nothing.” Can …
  • Arthritis Awareness – May Lab Specials May 6, 2015
    Nearly 53 million adults and 300,000 children in America have arthritis. By 2030, 67% of the population will suffer from one type of arthritis.  Arthritis, joint pain or joint disease, is the leading cause of disability in the United States. …

Medicaid is a tax on the estates of the poor

by Jane Orient, MD

snakebiteMost people think they’re exempt from the estate tax (often called the “death tax”) because they don’t have $2 million. A lot of people with low incomes do have some assets, however, and if they have used any Medicaid benefits, their heirs may be in for a shock.

Depending on state law, the state may have the right to everything, up to the cost of Medicaid benefits received — house, car, bank accounts, tools, annuities, piano, furniture, everything — and not just 50 percent of it.

This situation is not exactly new. The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993 requires states to pursue Medicaid asset recovery from persons who receive benefits at age 55 or older. At first, this applied mainly to nursing home benefits, but at state option, it could now include any items or services provided under Medicaid.

There are some limits on what the state can take, as in the case of hardship or to protect surviving spouses, but the law is extremely complex. “The only certainty is controversy,” writes lawyer David L. McGuffey, a member of a Georgia law firm specializing in estate law, in a 77-page document.

“Estate recovery tends to reach individuals of very modest means and has a chilling effect on low-income people seeking benefits to which they are entitled,” he notes. To enroll in Medicaid, people have had to sign a disclosure form explaining this requirement, and some decide to forgo the benefit.

A plaintiff who represented himself described estate recovery as “nothing more than a vast, unlawful conspiracy to deprive the plaintiff, an American who is black, of his property, his dignity and his constitutional rights, simply because they could.” (Drake v. Miller)

A potential for greatly expanded use of estate recovery was created in Obamacare, as pointed out in an anonymously authored, well-documented article distributed by economist Paul Craig Roberts. Obamacare increases the number of people eligible for Medicaid by dropping the asset test for enrollment (Page 162 of Obamacare).

It is not clear how disclosure can work if people are automatically enrolled — for example, if they appear to be eligible when they sign up for another program, such as food stamps. In addition, people who apply for mandated insurance through an exchange will have to enroll in Medicaid, if eligible, or pay the penalty — a “tax,” as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court — for being uninsured.

In Arizona, where all Medicaid beneficiaries are enrolled in a managed-care plan, their estates could be repaying “benefits” even if the enrollee never actually received any goods or services. Information provided by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (Arizona’s Medicaid program) explains that the program makes a monthly capitation payment of around $3,340 to “program contractors,” who arrange for services, if any. It warns, in bold print: “It is important to be aware that capitation payments can exceed the actual costs of services provided during the month.”

For comparison, the privately paid cost for my father’s private room, decent meals, and kind and competent 24-hour care in a comfortable group home was around $2,500 per month. Many people would probably pay less for services they need and choose than their estates would be charged for merely being a “covered life” in a program contractor’s inventory.

Federal and state governments are desperate for revenue. Pollyanna herself would find it hard to believe that estate recovery will diminish rather than increase.

Medicaid, supposed to be a program to help the poor, has become a cash cow for multibillion-dollar, managed-care companies, who milk federal and state taxpayers. Expanding Medicaid to persons with modest assets will enable estate recovery to become a cash cow for states to milk the poor and the middle class.

Dr. Jane M. Orient practices internal medicine in Tucson, Ariz., and is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/11/medicaid-as-a-tax-on-the-estates-of-the-poor/



At MediBid, we restore market forces to medical care. Doctors get to set their own rates based on their training, experience, and outcomes, and patients get to shop for medical care across state lines and international borders. Many times with MediBid, you will find procedures that are more effective than procedures allowed, or covered by health plans. Transparency and competition are the only way to achieve reasonable costs. Many of our employer clients offering group health insurance through MediBid save $5,000 per employee per year. Those are substantial savings. Patients are saving an average of 48% vs. insurance discounted rates, or 80% vs. retail. Contact us for more information.
Share

Comments

This entry was posted in Business and Medicine, Common Sense Health Care Solutions, Cost of Health Care, Economics, Employer Health Plan, Free market medicine, Health Care News, Health Care Reform, Health Care Repeal, Health Care Taxes, Health Insurance, Health Law and Legislation, Healthcare Exhange, Insurance, Medicaid expansion, Obamacare, obamacare exchange, Politics, Tax Increases and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
More Affordable Insurance AlternativeCategories
Bulk Email Sender