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posted on August 02, 2012 10:41

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s work group to evaluate Medicaid expansion to low-income adults will hold an initial meeting on Monday, August 6, in the 7th floor conference room of the Pete T. Cenarrusa Building, 450 West State St., in Boise. The meeting is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Governor Otter appointed 15 people from the public and private sectors to evaluate the potential impact to Idaho of expanding Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states originally were mandated to expand Medicaid insurance coverage to adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of poverty—roughly $31,000 a year for a family of four.  A recent Supreme Court decision ruled that Medicaid expansion is an option for states and not required, leaving it up to states to decide if they want to expand their Medicaid programs.

The Governor’s work group for Medicaid expansion is headed by Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong. The work group will examine the costs and savings, along with the benefits and liabilities, of possible Medicaid expansion.  The work group will provide its analysis and recommendations to the Governor by November 1.

About Idaho Medicaid: Medicaid is a federal-state partnership that offers medical insurance coverage to vulnerable and low-income people. In Idaho, approximately 235,000 people are enrolled in Medicaid, with 70 percent being children from low income families. Idaho Medicaid also covers people with disabilities, low-income women who are pregnant, and low-income elderly.

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act would provide insurance coverage for low-income adults up to 138 percent of poverty.  Currently, Idaho adults, who are not disabled or elderly, only qualify for Medicaid if they have children and an income less than 20% of poverty—$4,584 a year for a family of four.

For a copy of the August 6 work group agenda, please click here.