Friday, September 20, 2013

The Medicaid Expansion Gap Is a Sick Joke

Where the States Stand
Via: The Advisory Board Company

Whose sick joke is this?  The less money you make, the more you have to pay to buy health insurance? Yes, unless your state has decided to expand Medicaid, which many of them have not.

 From's article, "What if my state is not expanding Medicaid?"

"If you live in a state that’s not expanding Medicaid and you don’t qualify for Medicaid under your state’s current rules, one of two situations applies to you: If your income is more than about $11,500 a year as a single person (about $23,500 for a family of 4, or 100% of the federal poverty level), you will be able to buy health insurance in the Marketplace and get lower costs based on your household size and income. If you make less than about $11,500 a year as a single person (about $23,500 for a family of 4), you’ll be able to get insurance in the Marketplace--but you won’t be able to get lower costs based on your income. If you buy insurance in the Marketplace, you will have to pay full price."

Why?  Because of the Medicaid expansion gap.

"When the health care law was passed, it required states to provide Medicaid coverage for adults with low incomes (up to 133% of the federal poverty level), regardless of their health. Under the law, the federal government will pay 100% 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 states could decide not to expand their Medicaid program. Some states are choosing not expanding Medicaid for 2014. This means some low-income people in these states are not eligible for an insurance affordability program in their state -- at least at this time. Their incomes are too high to get Medicaid under their state’s rules but too low to qualify for reduced costs in the Marketplace. States may decide to expand Medicaid at any time."

So the people who need the most help paying for insurance will get the least?  We can do better than that.

Kansas friends, please join me by signing this petition to Gov. Sam Brownback asking him to expand Medicaid in Kansas so people who "make too much but not enough" won't have to pay full price in the health insurance marketplace.  If you'd prefer to contact Gov. Brownback yourself, you can do so here.

If you're not a Kansas resident, you can find out here if your state says it will participate in Medicaid expansion or an alternative model.  If your state hasn't said they will, please contact your governor and ask him or her to make sure your state participates in Medicaid expansion.  Here's a list of states that have not yet said they will participate, along with their contact info:

New Hampshire
North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota