New Medicaid managed care program affects 200K Virginians

FILE - In this July 30, 2015 file photo, a sign supporting Medicare is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington as registered nurses and other community leaders celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare spending on breakthrough medications for hepatitis C will nearly double this year, passing $9 billion, according to new government figures. That’s raising insurance costs for all beneficiaries, whether or not they have the liver-wasting viral disease. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — More than 200,000 Virginians will be impacted by a new Medicaid program that starts Aug 1.

The Associated Press reports that the program will move many people with complex medical issues from a “fee for service” system to a managed care format.

Affected enrollees will include so-called “dual eligibles.” They are people who receive both Medicare, which is federal insurance, and Medicaid, the state-and-federally funded insurance.

Six insurance companies that have contracted with the state will guide enrollees’ care and prevent duplication of services. The change comes as more people live longer, sometimes exhausting their savings, and as concerns rise about the Medicaid budget.

The disabled and elderly make up less than a quarter of Medicaid’s population. But their expenses make up almost 70 percent of the annual Medicaid budget.

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