Monthly Archives: July 2015

Happy Birthday, Medicaid! However, Challenges do Lay Ahead….

As Medicare and Medicaid turn half a century old (what a geezer!), these two programs have weathered quite a lot during this time.  While Medicare is a politically sensitive subject and seen as a third rail in politics, Medicaid has a different political meaning to politicians and therefore lawmakers.  Here are some key challenges as Medicaid moves on along in her now 50th year of existence.

Anthem to Buy Cigna. Here are Some Key Points this Deal Brings Up

Anthem was able to finally sweeten up their offer to where Cigna finally accepted the final rose (sorry for the cheesy ‘Bachelorette’ show reference).  This will make Anthem the largest insurer in the United States.  Here are some key points this deal will bring to both Anthem as a company but also some food for thought to the overall healthcare delivery landscape.

This deal is expected to close sometime in the 2nd half of 2016.

Trivia Topic: How Well Do You Know Medicare and Medicaid?

This is surely to never be a topic on a Trivial Pursuit card (how fun would that be????).  Many of us who have been in healthcare for a while know some basic tenants of Medicare and Medicaid but how well do we really know them?  Here are some fascinating tidbits:

  1. Former President Truman was the first Medicare enrollee;
  2. Medicare was instrumental in desegregating hospitals across the country;
  3. Medicare coverage was greatly expanded during President Nixon’s term;
  4. President Clinton’s term in office saw the creation of CHIP (Child Health Insurance Program) where Medicaid covered low-income children;
  5. In 2001 under President George W. Bush’s term, HCFA (Health Care Financing Administration) that regulates Medicare and Medicaid was renamed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid or CMS.
  6. There are 4 parts to Medicare currently.  Parts A and B are considered ‘original’ Medicare and administered by the federal government and Parts C and D are run by private industry.
  7. Medicaid is the largest coverage source for Americans with over 64 million lives covered.  A little under half are children under the age of 18.


Maryland HIX Contractor to Pay $45 Million for Flawed Launch

In what is most likely just the beginning, Noridian, the contractor responsible for the failed rollout of Maryland’s state-run health insurance exchange, has agreed to pay the state and the federal government $45 million.  Noridian was awarded a $170 million contract which ultimately produced an online exchange that failed within minutes (no exaggeration) after the 10/1/13 go live.  Ultimately, the state’s HIX was able to be fixed by another contractor and has insured around 289,000 lives as of the last reporting period.