Slideshow

How Many People in Each State Are Missing Out on Medicaid Coverage?

In these 24 states, more than 4.8 million people are in health care limbo.

April 29, 2014, 1 a.m.

All states’ health care plans are not cre­ated equal.

Un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act, states could qual­i­fy for ex­pan­ded Medi­caid funds from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment as of Jan. 1, 2014. The ACA provides that if a state opts to ex­pand its Medi­caid pro­gram, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment will cov­er all of the state’s costs to cov­er newly eli­gible people for the first three years, and at least 90 per­cent of the costs after that. But in con­ser­vat­ive states where op­pos­i­tion to the ACA is run­ning high, many state gov­ern­ments have re­fused to ac­cept the ex­pan­sion funds, ar­guing that Medi­caid is a fisc­ally un­ten­able sys­tem.

Ac­cord­ing to es­tim­ates from the Kais­er Fam­ily Found­a­tion, that means more than 4.8 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans who could have their health in­sur­ance covered by the gov­ern­ment may in­stead have to find their own cov­er­age.

The so-called ex­pan­sion means that each state would be able to in­crease the num­ber of its res­id­ents that qual­i­fy for Medi­caid cov­er­age. It does so by set­ting the in­come eli­gib­il­ity level for Medi­caid at 138 per­cent of the fed­er­al poverty line—or ap­prox­im­ately $27,000 for a fam­ily of three. It would also ex­pand cov­er­age for non-eld­erly adults who don’t have chil­dren.

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