Monday, April 14, 2014

Pros And Cons Of Medicaid For Patients And Practioners

Medicaid is a program headed by the federal government and which is administered by individual states. It is designed with the specific purpose of helping low-income families and individuals with health-related costs. It should come as no surprise that such a large social initiative as Medicaid has both pros and cons. Hopefully this article can make things a little clearer, for both patients and providers of care. 


Access to Care

The most important, straight forward and obvious advantage for patients is the access to care that Medicaid provides. Medicaid provides access to people who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Simply put, take away Medicaid and you take away that access. The impact of losing Medicaid would be horrendous. Scores of low-income individuals and families would simply not be able to afford medical care and so would be left without basic and specialized care. For an example of this in action, the American Student Dental Association has said that it is Medicaid that covers most necessary dental and medical expenses.

Reliable Income for Practitioners

Those practitioners who choose to go ahead and accept Medicaid have their payment guaranteed by the government. Different states can offer lucrative contacts plus other incentives to increase the number of practitioners who participate in the program. These payments and incentives can make up a large part of their income, plus there is minimal risk of non-payment or expenses related to the collection of overdue bills. Increased numbers of practitioners accepting Medicaid is a win win for all concerned and should be greatly encouraged. 

A Steady Flow Of Customers For Practitioners 

It stands to reason that for those medical and dental practices that choose to play a part in the Medicaid program, they will end up serving an extremely large pool of patients. They can rely and count on this constant stream of customers and be confident in receiving what will be a steady and long-term source of income. In addition, they do not have to spend money on advertising, nor do they have to seek patients, as Medicaid beneficiaries are provided with a list of participating practitioners. 


Extent Of Medicaid Coverage

It is not a given that Medicaid will cover all treatments and procedures – there are circumstances for example in which the program could deem certain treatments unnecessary or even in some cases too experimental. Where there are disagreements, things can become complicated and drawn out, with lots of back and forth between a physician or patient with Medicaid administrators in an attempt to verify the need of a procedure. If Medicaid ultimately decides not to cover the expense of a certain procedure, there is very little that can be done.


Yes, as already noted, whilst Medicaid practitioners can rely on a steady flow of business, the money they receive for this, although guaranteed, can often be lower than what they would normally charge. Whilst this does help to keep overall costs down for the program, as you can imagine it can end up discouraging doctors from readily accepting Medicaid patients. There is also the inconvenience that arises from the fact that payment can take between 37 and 155 days to clear, which can be much too long for those smaller practices that have to rely on access to cash quickly to pay their expenses.

Who Qualifies For Welfare Disability Benefits?

Disability welfare benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to those who are no longer able to work full-time or at all. For those who have recently become disabled, or for those whose condition has progressed to the point in which working is impossible, understanding the necessary qualifications can be difficult.

Welfare Disability Requirements

The first thing an individual needs to do is determine whether or not they qualify for disability in the first place. To that end, there are several qualifications that should be kept in mind:

·         If an individual cannot work due to a disability.
·         If an individual has been disabled for a period of at least twelve months.
·         If an individual expects to be disabled for a period of at least twelve months.
·         If an individual is under the age of sixty-five.
·         If an individual has worked for at least five of the past ten years.
·         If an individual has maintained a limited income for five of the past ten years.
·         If an individual has a doctor who can support the specifics of the disability claim in question.

These are the conditions that will have to be met, in order for an individual to qualify for welfare disability benefits.

The next question a person is likely to have is whether or not their disability will qualify them for benefits. This can be a difficult question to answer. Ultimately, your doctor will help you to determine whether or not your condition is such that pursuing disability benefits is your only option.

A wide range of conditions are considered acceptable reasons to pursue disability benefits. Some of these conditions or impairments include:

·         HIV
·         Hypertension
·         Bipolar condition
·         Blindness
·         IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
·         Brain injuries
·         Asthma
·         Lupus
·         MS (multiple sclerosis)

·         A number of spine/back conditions. These can include degenerative disc diseases, herniated discs, nerve/root compressions, pinched nerves, and other debilitating conditions related to the back/spine area. Your doctor will work with you to figure out whether or not your specific back condition is severe enough to begin applying for disability.

·         High blood pressure
·         PSTD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
·         A major organ transplant. Organs that would qualify under the umbrella concept of “major” include hearts, livers, and lungs.
·         Cancer

·         A cardiac or heart condition. Heart/cardiac conditions that can qualify an individual for disability benefits can include congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, and several others. Your doctor will help you to figure out whether or not your heart condition demands the pursuit of disability benefits.

This is an extremely partial list. It’s important to keep that in mind.

Applying For Disability Benefits

Your doctor will be your most valuable ally in the pursuit of disability benefits. However, if the condition is psychological in nature, it may be necessary to seek assistance through another medical professional. It’s important to have your condition correctly diagnosed and understood, since the doctor will later be called upon to verify the claim. This will happen once you apply. If you receive government benefits you can also receive a free cell phone to help you out. Take a look at Food Stamp Cell Phone for more information