Arizona Ends Temporary Health Insurance Program For People With Disabilities

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The Arizona Legislature and Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) have eliminated the SSDI-Temporary Medical Coverage program to save about $8.35 million as the state tries to reduce a $2 billion fiscal year 2008-2009 budget deficit, the Arizona Republic reports. The program, which ended July 15, provided temporary health care coverage for people who are ineligible for Medicare or the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System because they must wait two years after receiving a disability determination before enrolling in Medicare.

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About 1,300 people with disabilities in the state had no health coverage because of the rule, so the program was created two years ago to allow them to pay a premium to gain coverage through AHCCCS until they were eligible for Medicare.

Rainey Daye Holloway, a spokesperson for AHCCCS, said that about 538 people enrolled as of November 2007, when the state froze enrollment in the program because costs were double the projected spending. She said that 250 of those people have not yet been able to enroll in Medicare (Wagner, Arizona Republic, 7/31).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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