Health Care Options

Health Care Options for Those With a Low Income

The Basic Health Plan sets forth the ability of beneficiaries to offer more affordable medical coverage for individuals whose income varies below and above the applicable poverty line and enhance continuity of patient care for those whose income varies above and beyond Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program ( CHIP) benefits. In short, the plan helps make medical care more accessible to low- and modest-income families, and it boosts self-sufficiency by reducing the need for government-sponsored insurance. In addition, the Basic Health Plan helps stabilize or improve the overall health of the families served by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, resulting in improved access to health care for all beneficiaries. Medicaid beneficiaries are usually confined to hospitals within their state, making access to necessary medical equipment and advanced diagnostic services difficult. On the other hand, CHIP programs have expanded dramatically, covering more people with serious illnesses. CHIP programs also require insurers to cover at least some of the costs of beneficiaries’ hospital care.


With the recent developments regarding CHIP and its replacement

Minnesota’s residents can breathe a sigh of relief. Today, eleven new health plans are available to Minnesota residents. Among them are two different CHIP programs – Medigap Minus and Blue Shield. Blue Shield is the only major insurer in the country that provides both Medicaid and CHIP programs; unfortunately, however, its service provisions are limited. It has also recently announced plans to expand its private insurance offerings to include basic health programs.


According to the latest survey by the Minnesota Pollutants Education Center

people living in Minnesota have mixed feelings about the state’s health care system. Some feel safe, secure, and comfortable with the existing system, while others believe that they need improvements. Of the polluted respondents, a majority said that they are satisfied with their basic health care services, with only a few dissatisfied individuals. This survey echoes other surveys of people across the country. These surveys demonstrate that citizens are wary about changing health care providers, even if they are satisfied with the quality of service.


Despite this, Minnesota has continued to work on its public health care system

devoting considerable effort towards ensuring that its residents have access to quality health care. The state has long pushed for increased revenues, especially from taxes on tobacco and medical products. By creating certain conditions, like mandatory insurance premiums for adults with family incomes below a certain level and subsidies for low-income families with children, the state aims to minimize health spending on health care services. At the same time, it attempts to keep rates for insured individuals as low as possible.


Several US states, including Minnesota

have explored the option of expanding Medicaid. However, the decision on whether or not to do so was influenced by several factors. For example, Minnesota’s residents, according to a recent survey, were generally opposed to expansion, citing concerns over increasing government bureaucracy, loss of insurance benefits, and lack of access to needed healthcare by the poor. Similarly, neighboring states that chose not to expand their Medicaid programs, saw similar concerns, with some arguing that expanded Medicaid would force them to discriminate against persons with disabilities.


The expansion was opposed strongly by business interests

with some noting the potential cost and the rising premiums enrollees will pay. On the other hand, Minnesota residents were also concerned about the lack of choices available to them in terms of private providers. The state had previously tried to implement a managed care system, but this proved unpopular due to its limited services and costs. A recent study suggests that managed care may have improved access to healthcare services, but did not significantly affect costs or enrollees’ satisfaction with the service.


While these two arguments can be persuasive

Minnesota residents are not without options when it comes to health care. One solution, particularly appealing to Minnesotans, is to purchase “fee-for-service” insurance, under which individuals pay a monthly fee to the insurer. This type of plan covers more of the medical costs of the insured, while still providing substantial assistance when it comes to the premiums. Also, many low- and moderate-income families could find this plan particularly attractive, as it does not have nearly the stringent limitations as the aforementioned two options. Even if you or a family member falls into one of these income brackets, there is a way to find affordable coverage.

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