The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is renewing the paperwork clearance it and states need to set up a new type of health plan aimed at the working poor.
At least one state — Minnesota — has posted a draft blue print for a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Basic Health Program.
Some states that hate the idea of expanding Medicaid are using PPACA Medicaid expansion money to help people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but earn too little to afford qualified health plan (QHP) coverage, to help those moderate-income people buy QHP coverage through the public health insurance system.
The PPACA Basic Health Program section — Section 1331 encourages states to take the opposite approach. It encourages states to use PPACA QHP subsidy money to help moderate-income people buy Medicaid coverage. Minnesota already had a homegrown Medicaid buy-in program before PPACA came along, and advocates say using a state’s bargaining power will help the Basic Health Program plan members get better, cheaper coverage than they could get through a PPACA exchange.
See also: Feds flesh out big new PPACA program