Medicaid Changes Could Leave Many Uninsured
New federal rules that require Medicaid beneficiaries to provide proof of citizenship could leave nursing home patients, the homeless, people with mental illnesses and people born at home without health insurance, some health care advocates say, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/9).
Under the measure, signed into law by President Bush in February, individuals seeking care through Medicaid as of July 1 will be required to show proof of U.S. citizenship -- such as a birth certificate, passport or another form of identification. The law is intended to prevent undocumented immigrants from claiming to be citizens to receive benefits provided only to legal residents.
California health officials this week said they are postponing the enforcement of the law because HHS has not released federal guidelines, which are still under revision (California Healthline, 6/7). The government is expected to release the guidelines "any day," the Chronicle reports.
Health advocates say people who lack documentation proving citizenship but are entitled to benefits will be most affected by the law (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/9).