AARP Urges Governor Beshear to Expand Medicaid Coverage Under ACA
Expansion will save taxpayer dollars and provide new access to health coverage for tens of thousands uninsured Kentuckians.
In its AARP_Kentucky_Medicaid_Expansion_Support_Letter_Beshear_1-2-2013 to Governor Steve Beshear, AARP Kentucky is calling on the Governor to expand the state’s Medicaid program to provide access to health care for an estimated 399,000 Kentuckians, especially for those ages 50 to 64.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides states an option, with federal funding, to expand Medicaid coverage up to 138% of the federal poverty level – a move that would provide access to affordable health care coverage for an estimated 47,637 uninsured Kentuckians ages 50-64.
“Expanding Medicaid will provide coverage for hardworking people who’ve paid taxes all their lives but are struggling to make ends meet,” said AARP Kentucky State Director Ron Bridges. “This is critical for 50-64 year olds who’ve lost their jobs or are struggling in jobs without health insurance but don’t currently qualify for Medicaid health coverage or Medicare.”
AARP knows Kentucky’s budget faces serious fiscal challenges, but the time for expansion is now. The ACA provides a one-time opportunity for Kentucky to receive a 100% federal funding as opposed to the 70.55 percent match the state currently receives.
According to a June 2012 report by the Urban Institute, approximately 399,000 Kentucky residents would become eligible for coverage under the expansion in 2014.
“Medicaid expansion would save taxpayer dollars by giving people without insurance access to preventative care that can save lives, reduce the need for expensive emergency room care and ease emergency room overcrowding,” added Bridges.
“Expanding Medicaid is a smart investment in our future. Medicare spending and mortality risks are higher for those without continuous health coverage after age 50. Expanding Medicaid can help save future costs to the Medicare program by addressing costs system-wide through prevention and wellness.”
For more information about the ACA and Medicaid expansion, visit www.aarp.org/heathlawguide
The Urban Institute Health Policy Center.Making the Medicaid Expansion an ACA Option, June 29, 2012.
Read AARP Kentucky's letter to Governor Beshear, AARP_Kentucky_Medicaid_Expansion_Support_Letter_Beshear_1-2-2013