The Ladder

A Blog from New America's Asset Building Program

Asset Building News Week, August 11-15

August 15, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include inequality, retirement, and housing.

The Affordable Care Act and Asset Limits: What’s Left Undone

August 12, 2014
Publication Image Editor’s Note: This blog post is the third and final installment in a series by Julianna Lord, Emerson National Hunger Fellow, looking at how the ACA has removed barriers and streamlined access to public assistance programs. Julianna’s previous posts are linked at the bottom of the page.

A bill is on the table in Missouri that would allow elderly and disabled residents to maintain a modest level of savings without sacrificing their health coverage. HB 1223 would increase the state’s Medicaid asset limits from $1,000 to $5,000 for individuals and from $5,000 to $10,000 for married couples. These asset limits have been in place since 1968 and have not been adjusted for inflation in the past 46 years.

So why are Missouri lawmakers pushing to change these asset limits now, especially as the state continues to resist expanding Medicaid? According to the Southeast Missourian, the issue of low asset limits has hit close to home for Senator Dan Brown (R- Rolla), whose 84-year-old father is currently spending down his savings to cover his medical expenses but has yet to fall within the $1000 limit that would enable him to apply for Medicaid. "I wish he could have a greater asset limit when it gets to that point," Brown said. "I personally would love to see it raised." Nearly 8200 disabled and elderly Missourians, including Brown’s father, would become newly eligible for Medicaid under the new limits.

Asset Building News Week, August 4-8

August 8, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include poverty, public assistance, and savings.

Guest Post: Recap from New America NYC: Rich Hill

August 1, 2014
Publication Image Editor's Note: This post, which was originally published on the New America NYC blog, provides a summary of an Asset Building Program event featuring a screening of the film Rich Hill on July 31, 2014 at New America's New York space. It was written by Tyler S. Bugg, an Associate with New America NYC.

Asset Building News Week, July 28-August 1

August 1, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include family balance sheets, public assistance, and housing.

Fast Track Eases Medicaid Enrollment, but Implementation Matters Too

July 29, 2014
Publication Image Relatively simple policy changes can make a big difference in helping people get access to health insurance – and health coverage helps many families stay afloat in the wake of a medical issue. In the span of just a few months, approximately 750,000 people were newly identified as eligible for Medicaid in California. How? California recently implemented a new, streamlined approach to let people know they qualify for Medicaid. In anticipation of the increasing number of adults applying for health coverage due to the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) promoted a strategy called Fast Track to accelerate eligibility and enrollment processes. Fast Track has been highly successful in connecting more families with services they qualify for and states have also saved significantly because of its efficiency; however, California has provided a textbook example of how implementation challenges influence a policy’s effectiveness.

Asset Building News Week, July 21-25

July 25, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include financial services and knowledge, poverty, and jobs.

New Report: Child Development Accounts as an Early Childhood Intervention

July 22, 2014
Publication Image Properly designed Child Development Accounts (CDAs) can have lasting, positive effects on children's educational development and can improve their long-term economic outcomes. That's the argument of a new paper we're releasing today, "Investing in Children: Child Development Accounts as an Early Childhood Intervention," which was authored by two scholars at the University of Kansas' School of Social Welfare, Terri Friedline, an Asset Building Program Research Fellow, and Nik Schuetz. While much discussion of CDAs (also known as CSAs or Children's Savings Accounts; the terms are interchangeable) treats the accounts in isolation, Friedline and Schuetz argue that, to be most effective, CDAs should be situated within the broader context of other early childhood interventions like pre-K and Head Start.
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