SC allocates millions to help with Medicaid reimbursements - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

SC allocates millions to help with Medicaid reimbursements

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Although South Carolina is not expanding Medicaid, the state has allocated $80 million of state and federal funds to help cover Medicaid reimbursements for physician and hospitals.

According to census data, those who are 65 and older make up 13 percent of South Carolina's population and that population is expected to double soon, experts say.  

"It is interesting to me that many of our Medicare patients actually are concerned that the insurance exchanges will apply to them and that's not true," said Dr. Bruce Snyder, president of the SC Medical Association. "Their care coverage will not be effected."

Some experts say the state has not done a

"We will see increased Medicaid enrollment because unfortunately our state has never done a very good job of enrolling people that are currently eligible," said Sue Berkowitz with the Appleseed Legal Justice Center.

Experts say there will be additional benefits for Medicare recipients under the new health care law.  

 "If you are on medicare, you get a free well visit every year now, that's huge," said AARP state director Teresa Arnold. "Number two you don't have to have a co-pay on your preventive care, like if you have a colonoscopy."

The prescription drug coverage cap under Medicare Part d for individual with high drug costs will also now be closed.

"It didn't make any sense for someone to be paying their premium and covering the costs of their drugs, it was just too hard on people," Arnold said. "So that's one of the significant improvements that the ACA has brought about."

The extra coverage may mean less money for doctors and hospitals.

To help fund the Affordable Care Act, national hospital associations agreed to more than $150 billion worth of cuts in Medicare reimbursements and other payments throughout the next decade.

"Almost like a bit of a trade-off for more patients having coverage," said Rozalynn Goodwin with the SC Hospital Association. "It may even out, but it may not, particularly since SC did not expand Medicaid, there are billions of dollars that we are leaving in Washington or sending to other states, that could be here providing care for patients."

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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