Today’s News: States Struggle to Cover Medicaid, Employers Want Proof of Kinship to Insure and Auto Insurer Agrees to Rate Cut

If Congress fails to cover Medicaid costs this fiscal year, states could face a massive budget hole they will be forced to fill on their own. In other news, employers plan to toughen their health insurance guidelines to require employees to prove the kinship of their adult children and an auto insurance company has agreed to a rate cut that could benefit policyholders.

States Struggle to Cover Medicaid

States have already been forced to fill an $84 billion gap in order to balance their 2011 fiscal year budgets, but it appears that they may have to come up with even more money if Congress is unable to cover the growing costs associated with Medicaid soon. Specifically, states nationwide could face a $12 billion hole that they will be required to fill, with California, Texas, North Carolina and New York each facing upwards of $1 billion on their own.

Congress lawmakers have stalled with any passage of Medicaid assistance due to fears of a national deficit increase. Unfortunately, states may have to bear the brunt of these fears for another year (CNN Money).

Employers Want Proof of Kin to Insure

Now that health care reform is requiring plans to cover dependents until the age of 26, many employers are expecting to pay an increase of up to 9 percent to cover the costs. These costs will trickle down to employees, resulting in an increase in premiums on health insurance.

However, premiums will also be raised in order to weed out ineligible dependents, something companies are expected to formally announce soon as they begin to require proof that your dependents are actually yours. Whether through marriage certificates, birth or adoption certificates or proof of legal guardianship, you will have to do more work to prove a dependent is legit in the near future (CNN Money).

Auto Insurer Agrees to Rate Cut

Some lucky California Farmers Insurance customers will receive a 10-percent break on their auto insurance as a part of an agreement reached by the California Department of Insurance and the insurance giant. The rebate will only be offered to customers with policies that renew between July 15 and Jan. 15 and it is only offered one time.

For most, the rebate will average about $50 per policy; however, if you’re planning on spending your money anytime soon, you’d better make other plans since it won’t be mailed to customers until February 2011 (Sacramento Business Journal).