AARP is working to ensure that older adults who have lost their jobs and hard-working Pennsylvanians who are struggling to make ends meet can find the affordable health care they need. Accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid in PA will give these families the security of knowing they can get the health care they need and at the same time boost our economy, create jobs, and help keep the doors open at the hospitals that serve our residents. By expanding Medicaid, Pennsylvania can help those who have lost their health insurance receive coverage if their incomes are less than $15,000 (133 percent of the federal poverty level). For the first three years beginning in 2014, the federal government will pay the entire cost of the state’s Medicaid expansion, with the government’s match rate gradually dropping beginning in 2017, decreasing to 90 percent in 2020 and thereafter.
Medicaid expansion is particularly important to individuals who are over age 50 and not yet eligible for Medicare. These middle-aged adults are more likely to face the onset of health conditions that if left untreated could inevitably increase their need for health and long-term care. Medicaid was designed as a program for the poor, its eligibility criteria are quite restrictive. Many individuals must deplete their life savings before they can qualify for Medicaid to pay for the services they need. AARP estimates Medicaid expansion would provide coverage to more than 90,000 50 to 64 year-old PA residents.
Although the Affordable Care Act has required states to expand their Medicaid programs, due to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision it has effectively turned the mandate into a state option.
AARP recently sponsored a program on the PA Cable Network (PCN) that featured experts and state officials discussing why Medicaid expansion is needed in PA. Watch that program by clicking here
You can help by asking your elected officials to accept the federal funds to allow PA to expand Medicaid.
What You Can Do
* Click here to send an email message to your state legislators.
Call 1-800-515-8134 to be connected to your legislator and deliver your message