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.