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posted on March 13, 2013 16:20

NEWS RELEASE--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          DATE: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tom Shanahan
Public Information Officer
(208) 334-0668

Medicaid Workgroup Meets Monday, March 18



The Governor’s workgroup evaluating possible expansion of Medicaid services to low-income adults will meet on Monday, March 18, to listen to a national consultant provide an update on possible expansion populations and cost estimates. The board also will review benefit designs for possible health plans. The meeting is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in McCleary North at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, 1055 N. Curtis Road, Boise.

In July 2012, Governor C.L “Butch” Otter appointed 15 people from the public and private sectors to evaluate the potential impact to Idaho if the state provides 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 $32,500 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 workgroup held three meetings from August to November 2012, submitting a report to Governor Otter in December. Since that report, the federal government has issued updated guidance about eligibility criteria and costs that affects the original data provided to the workgroup. A national consultant, Milliman, will provide updated numbers based on the new federal guidance during the March meeting.
The workgroup’s December report had universally endorsed optional Medicaid expansion contingent on the benefit package being designed to require personal accountability and encourage preventive measures and healthy behaviors. Governor Otter lauded the workgroup’s efforts and in January asked them to flesh out a plan with specific proposals. To continue their work in this area, the workgroup will review possible benefit design concepts and receive updates on communications with the federal government about personal accountability measures.

The agenda for the workgroup meeting is available
here.  For people who cannot attend the meeting, an online Web-Ex meeting alternative is available with connection information posted below. For a copy of the workgroup’s December 2012 report to the Governor, please click here.

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.
WebEx Information:
To join the meeting:
1. Go to
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. This meeting does not require a password.
4. Click "Join".
5. To listen to audio from the meeting, dial toll-free 1-866-225-8650. When prompted, enter code 1024263900 followed by the # sign.

If you plan to watch the WebEx, it is recommended you click here to make sure your computer has the appropriate media players installed.