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posted on October 19, 2012 09:43

NEWS RELEASE--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         UPDATED: 11-09-2012

Tom Shanahan
Public Information Officer
(208) 334-0668

November 9, 2012 Presentations:

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Impacts on Medicaid
    Greg Kunz, Deputy Administrator, Idaho Division of Welfare
  • Preliminary Expansion Cost/Savings Report
    Ben Diederich and Justin Birrill, Milliman consultants

  • Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Idaho
    Geoffrey Black, PhD; Zeynep Hansen, PhD; Don Holley, PhD; Boise State University College of Business and Economics

    Medicaid Personal Accountability Options

    The Idaho Medicaid workgroup evaluating possible expansion of Medicaid services to low-income adults will meet on Friday, November 9, at the State Capitol, EW-40. The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

    Governor C.L “Butch” Otter appointed 15 people from the public and private sectors to evaluate the potential impact to Idaho of providing a healthcare plan for 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 Supreme Court decision in late June ruled that Medicaid expansion is an option for states and not required, leaving it up to states to decide if they want to  provide a separate healthcare plan under Medicaid oversight. 

    The agenda for the meeting includes a preliminary review of the costs of possible expansion, along with a presentation on personal accountability options for participants. By conclusion of the meeting, it is anticipated members will develop recommendations that will be presented to the Governor. The workgroup has held two meetings to date, the first in August and the other in September.  Audio of the November 9th meeting will be available at: 

    About Idaho Medicaid: Medicaid is a federal-state partnership that offers medical insurance coverage to vulnerable and low-income people. In Idaho, approximately 240,000 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.

    Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to develop a new health plan, under Medicaid oversight, 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.