[Nfbmo] Senate panel backs changes to blind benefits
escoulter at centurytel.net
Wed Apr 11 19:18:36 UTC 2012
The $600.00 deductible for 2858 plind persons saves the state $1,714,800.00
The monthly premium of $111.00 works out to a cost of 1,332.00 per person
or for all 2858 recipients $3,806,856.00
Two points on this first these two items alone would cost the average blind
person $1,932.00 a year.
Secondly this only totals a savings of $5,521,656.00
The committee says the changes would save $10,000,000.00 so where is the
other $4,478,344.00 coming from?
It appears from co-pays.
If my dear Senator is accurate and it is based on state health insurance
there would be a $25.00 copay for primary care visits and a $35.00 for
specialists and drug copays of $25.00 per prescription and up.
In some ways the drug coverage under Medicare would be better and some ways
Blind medical Services would be better.
anyway if you take the $10,000,000.00 and just divide it by the 2,858 people
on Blind Pension they are figuring we will be responsible for $3,498.95 out
of limited incomes. or for a blind couple nearly $7,000.00.
By the way FSD already does annual reviews and if a person is eligible for
a better level of medical coverage the wonderful computer system
automatically puts them there.
Last point, There is no way that FSD will have time to properly implement
the program in less then 60 days by the time it goes through the mandatory
rule making and if they do get it done there will surely be initial
problems; it frightens me what could happen.
From: Gary Wunder
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:13 AM
To: 'NFB of Missouri Mailing List'
Subject: [Nfbmo] Senate panel backs changes to blind benefits
Folks, we still have our work cut out for us. Please write. Today is the
best day to get it done. Write or call.
Mo. Senate panel backs changes to blind benefits
By DAVID A. LIEB
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Blind Missouri residents could have to start
of more than $100 monthly to remain eligible for state health care coverage,
a budget-cutting plan put forth Tuesday night by a Senate committee.
The plan embraced by the Senate Appropriations Committee could represent a
ground with the House, which had sought to eliminate the blind health care
and replace them with a new, substantially slimmed down program. But the new
does not appear to be backed by the administration of Gov. Jay Nixon, who
outspoken against any cuts to blind benefits.
For more than 50 years, Missouri has paid for the health care of blind
who earn too much to qualify for the Medicaid health care program for
residents - a cutoff of about $755 a month, according to the Department of
Services. The state also provides a separate, roughly $700 payment to the
More than 2,800 blind residents currently are covered by the special health
The Republican-led House voted last month to eliminate the roughly $30
health care program, arguing that the money was needed to help balance the
and noting that no comparable benefit was available to people with other
disabilities. The House instead voted to fund a new $6 million blind health
plan, funded largely by a tax increase on newspaper publishers.
Nixon, a Democrat, called the House budget cut "dead wrong."
The Senate Appropriations Committee scrapped the House plan, deciding that
unlikely that the newspaper tax increase could pass. Instead, the Senate
would provide about $18 million for the blind health care benefits while
that nearly $10 million of additional funding could be generated by charging
premiums and insurance co-payments.
Senate appropriations staff said the estimate was based on a $600 deductible
a monthly premium of $111 - the same amounts currently paid by many state
for health, vision and dental coverage.
The plan was put forth by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt
R-Columbia, who said it was his understanding that some blind people
the state-funded health care plan could be eligible for Medicaid, which
more than 60 percent of its funding from the federal government. Part of
plan would require eligibility reviews for the state-funded program so that
participants could potentially be shifted to the regular Medicaid program.
Brian Kinkade, the interim director of the Department of Social Services,
agency already conducts annual eligibility reviews for people on the
state-funded blind benefits programs.
The department would prefer to continue the blind benefits program as it is,
"Today they have health care provided, and it sounds like tomorrow they
to pay under the Senate position," Kinkade said.
The Senate committee's plan still must go before the full Senate, and
with the House then would have to be reconciled through a conference
of members from both chambers. Missouri's proposed $24 billion operating
take effect July 1.
C 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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