States prepare for Medicaid coverage changes -- even those not expanding under Obamacare

States grapple with Medicaid expansion issues -- even in states like South Carolina that aren't using the health law's provision to expand coverage. In Texas, 1 million people may fall into a Medicaid "doughnut hole," and Ohio Gov. John Kasich waits to see how his push for expansion will affect his re-election chances.

The State: Medicaid Rolls Could Swell In SC, Even As State Eschews Expansion In Health Care Reform 
When the tidal wave of new health insurance customers begins to build in October, a large secondary wave is expected to hit state Medicaid agencies, even in states such as South Carolina that turned down Medicaid expansion. Tens of thousands of people required by provisions of the Affordable Care Act to get into the insurance market in 2014 will discover they are eligible for Medicaid benefits for which they've never applied (Holleman, 9/29). 

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Medicaid 'Doughnut Hole' Leaves Many Working Poor Without Health Care Subsidies 
The Affordable Care Act ... will create another unintended gap in health insurance for residents of Texas and other states that did not expand Medicaid. Residents in this new "doughnut hole" make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but too little to qualify for subsidies on insurance bought through the state's federally run Health Insurance Marketplace, more commonly called the exchange. At least 1 million Texas residents will fall into that gap, said Stacey Pogue, senior policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based organization that supports expanded public medical coverage (Fuquay, 9/28).

Columbus Dispatch: Medicaid Push Hurts Gov. Kasich With Tea Party 
Kasich is pushing to expand Ohio's Medicaid program to cover 275,000 more poor people with federal dollars provided under Obamacare. It's a deal-breaker for many tea party conservatives, but the question that might not be answered until November 2014 is whether it's a re-election breaker for Kasich. ... [T]ea party leaders -- namely Tom Zawistowski, who organized yesterday's daylong convention -- have been threatening for months to find a way to beat Kasich (Vardon, 9/29). 


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

 

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