By Jueseppi B.
Quick recap: Republican governors and legislators are blocking a shocking 5 million Americans from accessing health care by refusing to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid. When we put up billboards in nine states calling out Republicans for standing in the way of health care, the state of Louisiana sued us, demanding we take down one of the billboards. But today, the judge issued a preliminary decision that allows our billboard to stay up and paves the way for the whole lawsuit to end with a victory.
But here’s the funny part: When we first put up the billboard, we reserved the space for only a month—and had no idea we’d be facing a lawsuit.
In her decision, the judge wrote: “In this Court’s view, the Lieutenant Governor underestimates the intelligence and reasonableness of people viewing the billboard.”
But this case was never about a billboard, it was about health care for millions of Americans. Thanks for helping to keep the issue front and center
While Marketplace Enrollment Ended, Medicaid Enrollment Continues
April 04, 2014
12:15 PM EDT
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already provided coverage to millions of Americans. More than 7.1 million Americans signed up for coverage through the Marketplaces, 3 million additional young adults were covered under their parents’ insurance and millions more will have access through Medicaid. A new report shows that more people are gaining coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as a result of the health law.
The analysis, produced by the Health and Human Services Department shows enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP in February was at least 3 million people higher than it was, on average, between July and September. That does not include March, which saw an enormous spike in Marketplace enrollment and traffic to HealthCare.gov.
While this is great progress, states where governors or legislatures refuse to implement the Medicaid expansion provisions of the law will leave 5.7 million Americans uninsured. States that have expanded Medicaid, such as Kentucky and New York, have seen particularly dramatic declines in their uninsured populations. Just take Kentucky, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky has seen a 40 percent drop in its rate of uninsured since October 1.
Medicaid Enrollment Continues Year Round
While open enrollment for the Marketplaces closed on March 31st, Medicaid coverage enrollment continues year round. That means we are going to continue, working with partners, to sign people up for Medicaid. We have made improvements to our systems and we are ramping up the tactics and tools that are working to reach uninsured Americans. We have learned that Medicaid expansion had a positive impact in getting people covered, as enrollment growth in states that expanded Medicaid was over 5 times higher than in other states (8.3 percent versus 1.6 percent).
One effective strategy for reaching people to get them signed up is through creative partnerships with hospitals and other service providers. For example, in many places hospitals make preliminary eligibility determinations and use a single, streamlined application for coverage. One other effective effort underway in five states uses supplemental nutritional assistance program (SNAP) income data information to identify individuals who are likely eligible for Medicaid and CHIP.
As of the end of February, almost half a million individuals have been determined eligible for Medicaid or CHIP as a result of this targeted effort, and more States are exploring similar strategies. Finally, all States are working to implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act which will make it much simpler and easier for individuals to apply for Medicaid coverage than prior to the law’s passage.
More States are Expanding Medicaid
Twenty-six States and the District of Columbia have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover low-income adults, providing access to millions of Americans who previously had no source of affordable health insurance. Earlier this week, on April 1, Michigan began enrolling individuals, expanding Medicaid eligibility to 470,000 people. The week before that, New Hampshire signed the Medicaid expansion into law, providing 50,000 people access to Medicaid coverage starting this July.
The arc of progress takes time. Since Medicaid was created in 1965, Medicaid has served a critical role in providing health coverage to certain low-income Americans. The ACA has moved beyond helping women and children, people with disabilities, and seniors, to expanding eligibility to all low-income people so that hard-working Americans who don’t have access to health care from their jobs don’t have to live in fear of getting sick. In the days and weeks to come, we will make sure we explain to the public the consequences of refusing to expand Medicaid and we will translate our learnings from the best practices of Medicaid enrollment to our year round effort to help more Americans access health care everyday.
Is my state expanding Medicaid coverage?
Some states are expanding their Medicaid programs. Others haven’t. Your coverage options depend on your state, your income and household size, and other factors.
To find out if your state is expanding Medicaid, scroll to the bottom of this page and use the “Get state information” menu.
You can apply for and enroll in Medicaid or CHIP any time of year.There’s no limited enrollment period for either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If you qualify, your coverage can begin immediately.
Options depend on your state, your income, and other factors
- If you live in a state that’s expanding Medicaid, you’ll probably qualify if you make up to $16,105 a year for 1 person ($32,913 for a family of 4).
- If you live in a state that hasn’t expanded Medicaid you may not qualify for either Medicaid or reduced costs on a private insurance plan. It will depend on where your income falls.
- Even if your state hasn’t expanded Medicaid coverage, you should still apply. The Medicaid program provides health coverage to millions of lower-income individuals and families today. You may qualify under your state’s existing rules. Use the “Get state information” menu at the bottom of this page to get contact information for your state Medicaid office. The office can tell you if you qualify.
- States are continuing to make coverage decisions. They could expand Medicaid in the future.
If your state is expanding Medicaid
The health care law provides states with additional federal funding to expand their Medicaid programs to cover adults under 65 who make up to 133% of the federal poverty level. (Because of the way this is calculated, it’s effectively 138% of the federal poverty level.) Children (18 and under) are eligible up to that income level or higher in all states.
If your state is expanding Medicaid, you’ll probably qualify if you make up to $16,105 a year for 1 person ($32,913 for a family of 4). See this chart for income limits for different family sizes.
If you make more than this amount, you may be able to buy a private insurance plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace. You may be eligible for tax credits that lower the cost of your monthly premiums and for lower out-of-pocket costs. This will depend on your family size and income.
When you fill out a Marketplace application, you’ll find out whether you’re eligible for Medicaid or a private insurance plan at the same time.
If your state hasn’t expanded Medicaid
Some states haven’t expanded their Medicaid programs. If you live in one of these states, you may not have as many options for health coverage. It will depend on where your income falls.
- If your income is more than 100% of the federal poverty level — $11,490 a year as a single person or about $23,550 for a family of 4 — you will be able to buy a private health insurance plan in the Marketplace and mayget lower costs based on your household size and income.
- If you make less than about $11,490 a year as a single person or about $23,550 for a family of 4, you may not qualify for lower costs for private insurance based on your income. You may be eligible for Medicaid, even without the expansion, based on your state’s existing rules. But if you aren’t, you won’t qualify for either of the affordability options under the health care law.
Why this coverage gap exists
When the health care law was passed, it required states to provide Medicaid coverage for adults between ages 18 and 65 with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level, regardless of their age, family status, or health.
It also provides tax credits for people with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level to buy private insurance plans in the Marketplace.
Under the law, the federal government will pay states all of the costs for newly eligible people for the first three years. It will pay no less than 90% of the costs in the future.
The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that the Medicaid expansion is voluntary with states. As a result, some states have not expanded their Medicaid programs.
Many adults in those states with incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level fall into a gap. Their incomes are too high to get Medicaid under their state’s current rules. But their incomes are too low to qualify for help buying private coverage in the Marketplace.
Apply for Medicaid, even if your state hasn’t expanded coverage
Even if your state hasn’t expanded Medicaid, you should apply for coverage to see if you qualify. Each state has coverage options that could work for you – particularly if you have children, are pregnant, or have a disability.
You can apply today by contacting your state Medicaid office. Use the “Get State Information” menu at the bottom this page to get the contact information.
You can also apply by filling out an application in the Marketplace online or by contacting the call center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Remember, you can apply for Medicaid and CHIP at any time. There’s no limited enrollment period for either program.
MEDICAID EXPANSION 2014
Effective January 1, 2014, Medicaid will be expanded to include individuals between the ages of 19 up to 65 (parents, and adults without dependent children) with incomes up to 138% FPL based on modified adjusted gross income. To get a very broad overview of Medicaid Expansion 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, watch the video to the right.
How does the Affordable Care Act affect eligibility for Medicaid?
- Creates a new Medicaid group – Newly Eligible Individuals age 19 up to 65 who:
- Have income below 138% FPL
- Meet citizenship requirements
- Are not incarcerated
- Are not entitled to Medicare
- Changes to income and deductions for existing Medicaid groups:
- Pregnant Women
- Families (Parents/Caretaker Relatives)
- Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)methodology used for income calculation is the IRS
- Countable income
- Income deductions
- Additional methods for determining income and deductions
- Household composition – mirrors federal income tax filing rules
- No asset/resource limits
- 12 month certification periods
- Simplified application and renewal process for:
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Health Benefit Exchange
- The following groups will not have any changes in eligibility for Medicaid:
- Aged, Blind or Disabled individuals
- Foster Care children
- SSI cash recipients
Check out the Medicaid Expansion 2014 sidebar navigation located on the upper left to get to the additional project web content.
- Medicaid Expansion 2014 Fact Sheet
- Medicaid Expansion 2014 Project Overview Presentation
- Medicaid Expansion 2014 Changes Comparison Fact Sheet
- Medicaid Expansion 2014 Overview for Stakeholders Webinar
ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion
ObamaCare’s Medicaid Could Insure 21.3 Million Americans in the Next Decade. So Why Do Some States Want to Opt-Out Of Expanding Medicaid to the Working Poor?
ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion is one of the biggest milestones in health care reform. ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion expands Medicaid to our nations poorest in order cover nearly half of uninsured Americans. The law previously required states to cover their poorest or lose federal funding to Medicaid (federalfunding covers 90-100% of state costs) until the supreme court ruling onObamaCare. State’s can now opt-out of Medicaid Expansion leaving millions of poor working families without coverage.
States opting out of the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare is projected to drive up insurance costs drastically (check out the facts below), while saving the States relatively small amounts, if anything at all. Join the ObamaCare Facts Mailing List to keep up to date on the Medicaid Expansion vote in your state.
The bottom line on Medicaid Expansion: Does the cost of Medicaid to the State outweigh the cost of unpaid hospital bills shifted to those who pay for insurance and the fact that millions of poor working families will go without proper health care creating a less healthy society who will potentially need more expensive unreimbursed care later in life?
Keep reading to find out more about Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act including how to find out if you are eligible for Medicaid under the expansion and how to sign up for Medicaid through your state’s health insurance marketplace.
States can now opt-out of Medicaid for it’s poorest without losing any federal funding.
ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion Opt-Out
The supreme court decided that states have the right to opt-out of Medicaid for it’s poorest without losing any federal funding. This may seem fair or harmless, but the implications of this are dire. This will leave many of the nations poorest without health insurance come 2014. ObamaCare Medicaid reform was meant to cover 17 million of our poorest through Medicaid and millions of higher income individuals through Medicare and the Online Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace. Now millions of people may go without health insurance.
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Bobby Jindal, Kentucky, Louisiana, Marketplace, Medicaid, medicaid expansion, Obamacares, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, State Children's Health Insurance Program, United States | 15 Comments »