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Health Insurance Companies See Obamacare Medicaid Boon

Most ObamaCare enrollees already had health plans, report says

Enrollment in health plans that have contracts with Medicaid will rise by 20 percent this year and by nearly 40 percent from last year to 2016, according to a report this week from Avalere Health , a research and advisory services firm on health policy issues tracking the Affordable Care Act. Other major players in the Medicaid managed care market include Aetna Aetna (AET), Centene (CNC), Humana Humana (HUM), Wellpoint (WLP) and its Americagroup (AMG) as well as a host of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. The continuing shift toward Medicaid managed care presents a significant growth opportunity for health plans that specialize in managing these low-income populations, said Avalere executive vice president Matt Eyles said in a statement accompanying the analysis. Plans that currently operate in Medicaid could see significant membership growth, and those outside of the Medicaid market until now could gain market share by moving into this space. This Medicaid funding under the Affordable Care Act is unlike past efforts to expand Medicaid in that the federal government will pick up the full tab for the first three years. The stategradually has to pick up some costs in 2017 but by 2020 the federal government is still picking up 90 percent or more of the Medicaid tab.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2014/01/18/health-insurance-companies-see-obamacare-medicaid-boon/

As of the end of December, only 76,000 people had signed up, many of whom were previously covered, according to the report. "I don't know we're growing the number of people with insurance here, so much as we're just adding complexity," Geoff Bartsh, vice president for policy at Minneapolis-based Medica Health Plans, told the Journal. Federal health officials told the newspaper they don't yet know the number of people who have signed up for coverage through the exchanges who had insurance when they enrolled. Consumers have until the end of March 31 to purchase plans under ObamaCare. "We are in the middle of a sustained six-month open-enrollment period, and we have seen a strong interest in the product overall across the range of demographics so far," said Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "We are ramping up outreach activities so that more Americans learn how they can now benefit from affordable health insurance." Overall, adults ages 55-64 were the most heavily represented in the signups, accounting for 33 percent of the total.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/18/most-obamacare-enrollees-already-have-health-plans-report-says/

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