Whether you’re a beat reporter or just covering it for a day, health care is complicated. Cutting through the jargon and complexity of the system can be difficult, so reporting, economic and health experts from across the country broke it down Monday at Poynter’s “Covering Health Care Policy Changes” event in Washington, D.C.
Whether you heard the discussion in person, or live miles away, here are some takeaways for the next time you delve into health care.
Know the differences between Medicaid and Medicare and how they operate in your state.
Medicare condensed into a bumper sticker would read: “Health Care for Old People,” says Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid directors. Medicaid, on the other hand, is designed to help poor families and children, but regulations and implementations vary greatly by state. In Texas, for example, parents of children on Medicaid can receive benefits as well, but only if they make less than $230 a month. Many poor people don’t qualify for Medicaid, while many people who do qualify don’t realize they can apply for it.
Through federal waivers, states have the flexibility to allocate money in different ways. The Affordable Care Act attempted to expand Medicaid to poor, working-age adults, but 19 states have not expanded the program.
Learn about insurance billing, cost vs. price, and the fee-for-service model.
Private insurance prices vary greatly geographically, whereas Medicaid and Medicare are better able to control prices across regions. The gap between how much the two categories pay has
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/news/6-tips-experts-poynters-covering-health-care-policy-changes-gathering