Medicaid Expansion Becomes Illinois Law
On July 22 Governor Quinn signed a bill making the Medicaid expansion Illinois law. Up to 500,000 citizens of Illinois will be newly eligible for Medicaid coverage beginning in January, 2014, including low-income adults who don’t have children at home. It is currently expected that up to 342,000 will enroll in the program by 2017.
Paying for the Program Expansion
For at least the first three years of the program, beginning in January, 2014, the federal government will pay for the Medicaid expansion program. It is not clear who will assume financial responsibility after that. And, given the state of Illinois’ finances, where the money will be found to continue the program could be questionable.
Not All States Participating in Medicaid Expansion
While the Affordable Care Act anticipated that the Medicaid expansion would provide health care to a large number of American citizens, many of the states have at least initially opted out, with others still considering whether or not they will participate in the expansion program.
The new financial requirements for eligibility in the Medicare expansion is 133% above the poverty line. Many states are concerned that those who enroll in the Medicaid expansion program who would qualify under the current guidelines will result in the state being financially responsible for their care during the first three years of Obamacare, rather than the federal government. Florida and Texas have been two of the outspoken opponents to Medicaid expansion.
More Information in Days Ahead
Much more information should be forthcoming to the general population between now and October 1, 2013, when the health exchanges or marketplaces are to be implemented.