“What is the expansion of Medicaid?” and “How will the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion affect Idaho?” are two of the most common questions residents have about the Obamacare expansion. The federal government announced the ACA Medicaid expansion in 2010, giving each state an opportunity to widen the population of eligible Medicaid enrollees. While all 50 states had the chance to be a part of the expansion, compliance with the new Medicaid eligibility guidelines is not required. States that accept the expansion will have to implement the new Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility standards for entering the program. This means that residents in these states who fill out the Affordable Care Act Medicaid application will experience easier and more lenient requirements for receiving Medicaid benefits. States that decline the expansion of Medicaid will not have to change their enrollment requirements for its Medicaid program. For more information about Obamacare Medicaid expansion details in Idaho, continue reading the information on this page.
Learn About the ACA Medicaid Expansion in Idaho
What is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and did Idaho accept the new guidelines? The ACA Medicaid expansion is a big change to the existing criteria to enroll in the program. The updated Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility standards expand the pool of qualified applicants by changing the requirements basic requirements. While Medicaid covers those with a low income, the program requires petitioners to have a corresponding condition that indicates medical need, such as age and health status. For example, Idaho residents who are blind, disabled, pregnant or of a certain age are typically meet the requirements for Medicaid coverage.
Over the course of the last few years, 31 states and Washington D.C. have chosen to be a part of the expansion program. The ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states is one of the major reasons why many states opted out of the expansion. Officials representing the state of Idaho have debated the topic of expanding Medicaid for many months before making a decision in early 2017. Along with 18 other states, Idaho declined the expansion of Medicaid. While the ID Obamacare expansion would have come with financial support from the federal government, it would still cost the state a large portion of funds to keep the program functioning. The Affordable Care Act Medicaid cost to state could cost taxpayers several billion dollars in the course of a decade. Idaho lawmakers did not think that the extra costs to Idaho residents would benefit the state so they have decided to forego the expansion.
Find out more about qualifying for Medicaid coverage based on personal factors in our detailed guide.
What does opting out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion mean for Idaho?
Opting out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in Idaho means there will be no changes to the way the state manages the Medicaid system. If Idaho accepted the ACA Medicaid eligibility criteria, income could be the only factor considered after submitting a Medicaid application.
Because the Idaho ACA expansion of Medicaid was not signed into law, the original criteria is still in effect. Even though the new criteria would allow more low-income residents to receive medical benefits, especially adults without children, the Idaho Medicaid program still offers coverage for children, parents, pregnant women, the elderly and those with disabilities or certain types of cancer. Also, guidelines regarding family size and requirements for able-bodied adults to work are still in effect. Those in need of medical benefits that meet the eligibility requirements should submit an Idaho Medicaid application to get coverage.
Will Idaho ever expand its Medicaid program?
Even though Idaho declined the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, it is possible for officials to accept the plan at a later time. However, it does not seem likely that Idaho to move forward with the ACA Medicaid expansion, as one of the reasons why the state and others have turned down the option to expand is due to the lack of control. The states that accept the expansion also have to accept the additional federal guidelines for the program. Since Medicaid is a federal- and state-funded program, each state has the option to expand eligibility as it sees fit, without the ACA expansion. Idaho can choose to expand eligibility groups to include residents with Medicaid coverage.
Idaho legislatures have been working on creating a custom health benefits program that would help cover more low-income residents. This program would be unique to Idaho and would exist without the direction of the federal government. However, no new changes to the Medicaid or other health benefits program in Idaho have been made so far.
Note: If your Idaho application for Medicaid has been denied, you may still qualify for health benefits. Not all programs that offer medical benefits are a part of the Medicaid program. As such, you may be able to enroll in one of these other health assistance programs.
Download our complimentary guide to get more information on Medicaid requirements for health care coverage.