A new national study says Alabama has the lowest rate in the South for children without health care coverage.
A study by the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University says 4.3 percent of Alabama's children didn't have health coverage in 2013. Other Southern states ranged from slightly more than 5 percent to 11 percent. The national average was 7.1 percent. Alabama ranked 10th best among the states.
The study found that Alabama had nearly 11,000 fewer uninsured children in 2013 than in 2011.
The National Governors Association says Alabama, Nevada and Washington will participate in a year-long project to examine ways to spur changes in how states pay for Medicaid and other health care services.
The NGA says the project should help the states reach agreements with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for changes in the delivery and payment of health care and in the improvement of health outcomes.
Alabama's $1.8 billion General Fund budget for the next fiscal year has become law with only small changes from the governor.
Gov. Robert Bentley sent a line item veto the House of Representatives late Thursday making some alterations to the budget. Those changes became law when representatives adjourned for the night without taking action.
House budget committee chairman Rep. Steve Clouse of Ozark says the governor's changes to the operating budget were minor.
Monday is the last day for the uninsured to start signing up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Anyone who hasn’t at least started the process of signing up by then will have no other way of doing so until November and will face a penalty. Bill Corr is Deputy Secretary with the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Bill Corr: “It’s important for people to sign up by then. If they don’t, it’ll be November before they have another enrollment period. If you signed up next November, you’d have insurance starting in January.”
Alabama's governor says the state won't create a health insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act or use the law to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income Alabamians.
Gov. Robert Bentley made the announced Tuesday while speaking to the Birmingham Business Alliance. Friday is the deadline for states to notify President Barack Obama's administration whether they will create a state exchange or let the federal government implement one for them.
The Alabama Nursing Home Association is proud of the fact that at least one nursing home is available in every county in the state. But if the budget referendum taking place tomorrow fails that effort could be in danger. John Matson is a spokesman for the Alabama Nursing Home Association. He says a vote of "no" tomorrow could spell deep cuts on the horizon.
Tuscaloosa, AL – It's been one week since cuts to the state's Medicaid budget took effect. A dire budget shortfall prompted state lawmakers to make spending cuts. Dr. Don Williamson is Alabama's public health officer and is also chair of the Medicaid Transition task force. Alabama Public Radio's Ryan Vasquez talked to Wiliamson about the short term and long term impact of the cuts as well as how to fix Medicaid going forward.