The Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that roughly 50% of states have switched to Medicaid Expansion. Some states such as Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Tennessee, and Wyoming are seriously considering the switch as well.
State Healthcare Moving to Medicaid Expansion
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there are currently only 28 states who have adopted Medicaid Expansion, including Washington DC. However, more states are beginning to consider Medicaid expansion, including Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
In order to garner support for expansion, the Tennessee Hospital Association has made a deal with Governor Bill Haslam: THA will finance the state’s payments for the program. On December 15th, Haslam proposed a plan in hopes of providing coverage for 200,000 low-income adults.
There are close to 191,000 residents of Alabama in the coverage gap. Governor Robert Bentley, though previously opposed to expansion, now agrees that using federal dollars for a state-designed program could be an option, as long as there are stipulations requiring beneficiaries to work based on ability.
Governor Bill Walker took office on December 1st, 2014, and has made Medicaid expansion a priority. The state legislature has actively been against such efforts and will be putting up a fight. Newly appointed health commissioner, Valerie Davidson, will be attempting to negotiate with the legislature and searching for a compromise.
Florida has proposed a plan called “A Healthy Florida Works,” which aims to move past the opposing House. The plan calls for monthly premiums and employment in order to receive coverage. With 760,000 people in the coverage gap, the state is in dire need of a solution. Without expansion, hospitals will be losing millions of dollars that would otherwise provide healthcare for many uninsured residents.
The Wyoming Department of Health has suggested a plan, Strategy for Health, Access, Responsibility, and Employment (SHARE), which will separate beneficiaries into two tiers based on income level. The program will be able to provide coverage for approximately 18,000 residents. Governor Matt Mead has voiced his support, saying “I don’t think we can say to those people in Wyoming who are working who cannot get insurance that we’re not going to do anything.”
As these states take a step forward in endeavoring to provide healthcare coverage for their residents, others, who are still adamantly against Medicaid Expansion, should follow their lead and consider alternative plans. The Virginia state legislature has voted against expansion three times; however, Governor Terry McAuliffe recently proposed another plan to extend coverage to 400,000 uninsured residents.
Author: Apoorva Anupindi