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Medicaid: A retroactive period reduces medical debt

Imagine how you would feel if you applied for Medicaid thinking you were going to receive coverage for the medical needs you had in the last three months. Now, imagine how you would feel if that coverage was taken away by those who believe you don't deserve it.

You'd likely be like many families in Arizona who could end up with thousands in unexpected medical debt with little to no way to pay it off. Medicaid in Arizona currently pays off medical bills for any new members who have them from the three months before the date of acceptance. A new proposal aims to limit the time by waiving it. Essentially, no one would have coverage for any time when they were ill before approval. The surprising fact is that you already have to worry about this in Arkansas.

Along with Arkansas, several other states have already had their requests to waive the 90-day period approved by the federal government. The problem is that this hurts lower-income families. It saves the states money, but the reality is that the three-month buffer is a necessity for low-income individuals who aren't aware of their eligibility for Medicaid at the time of treatment. This change, now affecting you in Arkansas and potentially in other states, only really changes how the medical provider gets paid.

Medicaid in the United States is facing a struggle, but changes like the above only hurt the population and place it in debt. If you're struggling with medical debt, you're not alone. With more support being cut off, you may need to look into other ways of paying off or eliminating your debt.

Source: Tucson.com, "Arizona's AHCCCS coverage limit would hurt low-income families, critics say," Stephanie Innes, April 28, 2018

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