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Medicaid Expansion?


healthcarePossible for Illinois, Unlikely for Missouri

Federal funding for Medicaid is set to change in January 2014. What will the effects in Missouri and Illinois be?

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a final rule with a request for comments that provides, effective January 1, 2014, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of certain newly eligible adult Medicaid beneficiaries. These payments will be in effect through 2016, phasing down to a permanent 90 percent matching rate by 2020. The Affordable Care Act authorizes states to expand Medicaid to adult Americans under age 65 with income of up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (approximately $15,000 for a single adult in 2012) and provides unprecedented federal funding for these states.

“This is a great deal for states and great news for Americans,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more Americans will have access to health coverage and the federal government will cover a vast majority of the cost. Treating people who don’t have insurance coverage raises health care costs for hospitals, people with insurance, and state budgets.”

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who supports the Medicaid expansion, did not receive support from the Missouri House. The House passed a $25 billion budget, but did not include any expansion of the State’s Medicaid eligible population through Health Care Reform. The budget now goes to the Republican controlled Missouri Senate.

Governor Pat Quinn, who supports Medicaid expansion, received support from the Illinois Senate as they approved a plan for Medicaid expansion in Illinois on February 21, 2013. The Illinois House is debating the issue, but is controlled by Democrats who anticipate the legislation will be passed and sent to Governor Quinn for signature.

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