Michigan expanded Medicaid to cover all its poor. That means that its hospitals don’t have to work as much to negotiate higher prices with private insurance companies in order to subsidize their work on the uninsured patients who pay nothing.
Indiana also expanded Medicaid. But Indiana’s expansion imposed a requirement on enrollees to pay into health savings accounts. A Kaiser Family Foundation report found that that might make Indiana’s expansion less accessible.
One of the most striking things in the Rand report was how the prices varied. It wasn’t just a matter of geography; the numbers Rand used weren’t dollar figures but how much higher the private payments were than Medicare prices.
A spokesman for the Georgia Hospital Association, Ethan James, emphasized the gaps in the report. He called the data “cherry-picked” and the report a vehicle for insurers to press hospitals for even lower prices, which could bankrupt smaller hospitals. He noted none of the prices included rural Georgia hospitals, which would likely be lower than in metro Atlanta.
The report, released this weekend, was first reported by Georgia Health News.