Thursday, June 11, 2015

Medicaid Enrollment Under ObamaCare Soars, Raising Cost Concerns

Several states that chose to expand Medicaid eligibility under ObamaCare now are facing deadline pressure to pay for it, the result of more signups than anticipated -- and, a looming reduction in how much of the bill the federal government will cover.
At least seven of the 29 states (and the District of Columbia) that expanded coverage have experienced significantly higher-than-expected enrollment. The expansion of Medicaid, the government health care program for low-income people, now allows most low-income adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level to qualify. An estimated 1.4 million more people than expected have signed up in those seven states since enrollment opened in October 2013 -- with Illinois, Kentucky and Washington state more than doubling their projected numbers.
The experience is serving as a cautionary tale for states, including Florida, still debating whether to take the plunge and green-light the Medicaid expansion, which is optional.
The enrollment interest is definitely there -- but so is a ballooning taxpayer bill.
Florida Republican state Rep. Paul Renner told the Florida Times-Union he worries about the potential, long-term effects expanding Medicaid might have on the state budget.
"It's really not a free proposition for us to expand coverage here," Renner told the newspaper. "We're going to have to give up things that are very important, like education."
Right now, federal funds cover 100 percent of the costs through 2016 for people now eligible for insurance through the Medicaid expansion.
However, the federal commitment decreases to 95 percent in 2017, 94 percent in 2018, 93 percent in 2019 and 90 percent in 2020 and beyond.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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