The U.S. Virgin Islands—which is not required under the Affordable Care Act to participate in a health insurance exchange—has decided instead to expand its Medicaid program. As a result, the number of local beneficiaries is expected to increase from about 8,500 to more than 20,000. The territory could receive as much as $274 million in federal funds to expand Medicaid through September 2019.
Still, it’s not the “perfect fix for all our health care challenges,” said Denyce Singleton, AARP state director. “It will not solve challenges for the uninsured people ages 50 to 64 who will not qualify for the expanded Medicaid program, or the nearly 30 percent of our workforce who are not insured by their employers.”
AARP Virgin Islands will continue to advocate for coverage of the uninsured.