Advocates Press Fla. Lawmakers On Medicaid Expansion To Help Working Poor

About 800,000 residents of the state are stuck in a "coverage gap" because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid since the state did not expand its program under the health law but they don't earn enough to qualify for federal tax credits.

Miami Herald: Florida's Working Poor Fall Into Affordable Care Act 'Coverage Gap'
Angel Cardenas is one of about 800,000 Floridians who are stuck in the so-called "coverage gap," in which they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to be eligible for federal tax credits under the ACA. She took part Tuesday in a conference call, part of an effort by healthcare advocates to persuade Florida legislators to expand the state’s Medicaid program, which now sets an annual income eligibility ceiling of roughly $6,930 for a family of three and denies any assistance to individuals and families without dependent children, regardless of how low their income may be. Under the ACA, Medicaid could be expanded to Florida residents with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or $27,310 for a family of three. So far, Florida legislators have declined to act (Madigan, 7/29).

In other Medicaid news -

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Moving Children From CHIP To Exchange Plans Would Increase Costs: Study
Cost sharing would increase and the number of child-specific services covered would decline if millions of low-income children now enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were forced to receive coverage through the health law’s insurance exchanges, according to a study released Tuesday (Carey, 7/29).

Modern Healthcare: Uninsured Rate Drops Faster In States That Expanded Medicaid
Americans lacking insurance coverage are becoming more concentrated in states that have opted not to expand Medicaid, according to the latest survey data from the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center. Residents of southern states, Spanish-language speakers and high school dropouts are also a growing portion of the uninsured. As of June, 60.4% of individuals lacking coverage lived in the 25 states that have opted not to expand Medicaid eligibility to residents with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, as encouraged under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Demko, 7/29).

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