Did Nebraska accept the Medicaid Expansion?
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The Nebraska Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion was an optional program offered to the state a few years back in order to expand the income bracket for Medicaid eligibility. The ACA Medicaid expansion was offered to all states in the country, yet only 31 and Washington D.C. opted in for the expansion. Unfortunately for Nebraska residents, Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility was not accepted by the state, and so any sort of expansion was not implemented. So, “What is the expansion of Medicaid anyway, and what would have changed?” In truth, the ACA expansion for Medicaid would have granted new applicants eligibility for affordable healthcare by extending the income requirements implemented. In the majority of the states that opted out of the expansion of Medicaid, one of the main reasons behind it dealt with budgetary issues. Federal provisions were granted to states that opted in for the ACA Medicaid expansion program in order to smooth the transition for new applicants who would be granted eligibility. However, there were still state costs that would be associated with the expansion. ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states was seemingly high for most, which is why they decided to decline the expansion. Unfortunately, declining the expansion of Medicaid benefits resulted in a loss for many states, Nebraska included. The new Obamacare Medicaid expansion details would have added over 40,000 residents, providing them with affordable healthcare coverage. For those wondering how Affordable Care Act eligibility for Medicaid would have changed if Nebraska opted in to the program, continue reviewing the sections provided below.
ACA Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska
Nebraska opted out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, along with 19 other states. So, what is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, and how are states affected if they decided to opt out? Without accepting the ACA expansion of Medicaid, Nebraska will retain the same Medicaid eligibility requirements as prior to the proposal. Without the Affordable Care Act expansion, parents with dependent children are eligible for Medicaid benefits with household incomes of up to 57 percent of the federal poverty level. Pregnant women, too, can receive benefits with incomes of up to 194 percent of the federal poverty level, and children with household incomes of 213 percent. If Nebraska had adopted the new Affordable Care Act Expansion program, then the eligibility limits would have been drastically different. Obamacare Medicaid expansion would have allowed for more Nebraska residents to be covered under the new program. Download our free guide to read more about federal poverty levels and how they relate to Medicaid.
What does opting out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion mean for Nebraska?
By not accepting Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, residents essentially saw no changes to the Medicaid program, or the procedures surrounding how to apply for Medicaid. No updates were made to the Affordable Care Act Medicaid application, nor were there changes to the ACA Medicaid eligibility rules. However, Nebraska did miss out on crucial expansion benefits. For instance, states that opted in for the ACA expansion saw an increase in enrollment by 27 percent on national average. In addition, Nebraska would have gained $3.1 billion from federal funding from 2013 to 2022. What Nebraska would have discovered by expanding ACA Medicaid coverage is that all adults would have access to affordable Medicaid coverage, not just parents with dependent children. The expansion for Medicaid would have based eligibility on income limits, rather than using other factors and stipulations as qualifiers. As it stands, without expanding Medicaid coverage in Nebraska, thousands of residents fall into a coverage gap with zero access to affordable healthcare.
Will Nebraska ever expand its Medicaid program?
Most residents wonder, “Will the expansion for Medicaid in Nebraska ever come to be?” While a valid question, the ACA Medicaid expansion will likely not be expanded in Nebraska any time soon. The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion is aimed to be repealed by the Trump Administration, which means that any state that opted in for the expansion, too, will lose benefits. Although Nebraska has not expanded ACA Medicaid coverage, bills have been introduced throughout the years to revisit the idea. In addition, lawmakers in Nebraska attempted to push through a private-option expansion, yet the legislation failed. This privatized approach to the Medicaid expansion would have provided different benefit options to Nebraska residents outside of what the ACA Medicaid expansion would have granted. All Nebraska residents should remain in the know about the Affordable Care Act expansion, in order to avoid unnecessary surprises that could affect their coverage options.
To learn more about the ACA Medicaid expansion, download our guide.