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The Affordable Care Act

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GOAL STATEMENT

The goal of this policy brief is to support Alabama’s current decision to continue Medicaid Primary Care Parity, as first enacted by congress in 2010 to all states under section 1202 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, as Alabama is facing budget cuts to its Medicaid services, supporting the “Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women and Children Act” will extend federally funded Medicaid primary care parity without harming the state budget and negate the consequences of limiting Medicaid enrollee access and benefits. The federal government proposed to pay 100% of Medicaid services mandated under section 1202, from 2013 to 2014, which has since expired in December 2014. This program requires certain primary care services to be reimbursed at higher rates equivalent to those rates paid by Medicare for equivalent primary care services. Limited provider participation, limited Medicaid beneficiary access & decreased enrollment of physicians, physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) into primary care can be improved through this monetary incentive.

SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM

Medicaid has grown exponentially after healthcare was expanded under the Affordable Care Act. However, this did not guarantee an increase in access to health care services, as many providers do not accept Medicaid beneficiaries, one of many reasons being low reimbursement rates. This discrepancy in rate reimbursement is further underscored when compared to those
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