More States Choose to Expand Medicaid
Monday, March 4, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

On February 26, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his support for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. This makes Christie the eighth Republican governor to support the expansion. More than half of the states — 25, plus Washington, D.C. — have chosen to expand Medicaid in 2014 or are leaning towards expansion.

States expanding or moving toward expansion will experience large gains in health coverage, starting next year. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 8 million low-income people will gain coverage through Medicaid by 2022 in these 25 states and Washington, D.C. If the remaining 25 states do not adopt the expansion, however, nearly 8 million of the lowest-income residents in those states will be left behind and likely remain uninsured.

The federal government is offering a unique opportunity to states that choose to expand, between 2014 through 2016, the federal government will pay all the cost of covering those newly eligible for Medicaid. The federal share of cost then gradually phases down to 90 percent for 2020 and every year after that. While states can opt into the Medicaid expansion at any time, they will not be able to take full advantage of the good financial deal offered by the government unless they make their decision before the 2014 implication date.

To review what states have decided to expand and which have not, please click here.
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