Nearly 350,000 Will Gain Health Coverage Under Medicaid Expansion
One in six (948,000) Washingtonians under age 65 currently lack health insurance, that's a significant increase from 141,000 at the start of the recession in 2008-2009.(1) But it doesn't have to be this way, lawmakers have an opportunity to turn those figures around. A key provision in the Affordable Care Act allows states to expand Medicaid to individuals who earn less than $15,415 or about $26,300 for a family of three.
Medicaid expansion will reduce the number of uninsured people by:
- Allowing low-income adults without dependent children to enroll; and
- Raising the income level for eligibility, so that people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level qualify.(2)
It is estimated that once fully implemented, expansion of Medicaid in Washington state will provide nearly 350,000 people with health coverage (see graph). Of those enrolled, three out of four are people who will be newly eligible under the expansion. The remainder are people who are currently eligible for Medicaid, but have not enrolled — the majority of them (52,000) are children.
This is the first in our series on Why Medicaid Expansion is a good idea. To view the full info graphic click here.
1. Current Population Survey, 2011
2. Based on 2012 federal poverty guidelines; the Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent FPL. In addition, there is a five percentage point income disregard, effectively raising the eligibility to 138 percent FPL. Eligibility for pregnant women remains at 185 percent FPL, and eligibility for children remains at 300 percent FPL.