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What We’re Reading: Shutdown's Impact on Medicare, Medicaid; Medicare Advantage Offerings; Nursing Homes Wait for Shots


A government shutdown could impact Medicaid and Medicare in important ways; new Medicare Advantage plans personalize offerings to special populations; nursing homes are still waiting for COVID-19 shots since the US government has stepped back.

How a Government Shutdown Would Impact Medicaid, Medicare Benefits

A government shutdown could unleash chaos on many federally funded programs if political leaders cannot negotiate a spending deal before the Saturday deadline, including possible disruptions to some services offered by CMS, according to The Washington Post. Medicare benefits will not be impacted, and Medicaid possesses full funding for the next 3 months. Even with this partial shield, the agency would keep fewer than 50% of its employees, a lot of whom are unpaid, until the possible shutdown ends.

New Medicare Advantage Plans Provide Offerings for Specific Populations

As Medicare Advantage grows in popularity among seniors, 3 Southern California organizations are forging new plan types that aim to help cultural and ethnic communities with special offerings and native-language practitioners, reported KFF Health News. Clever Care Health Plan and Alignment Health both have plans targeting the Asian American population that include extra benefits such as coverage for Eastern medicines and treatments like cupping. Alignment also has a contribution aimed at Latinos, and SCAN Health Plan has a product for the LGBTQ+ community. All have been in effect since 2020.

Nursing Homes Still Waiting for New COVID-19 Shots

The CDC approved the latest COVID-19 vaccine in mid-September, and the new vaccines became available to the general public about a week ago, but multiple nursing homes will not start inoculations until weeks into October or even November, according to The New York Times. Since the end of the formal public health emergency in May, the federal government stopped buying and distributing COVID-19 vaccines, which has complicated matters for those who run nursing homes who have faced resistance when trying to convince people, employees especially, to receive another round of shots. Just 62% of nursing home residents are up to date on their vaccines, and only 25% of nursing home employees are up to date.

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