The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, also known as the ACA Medicaid expansion and the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, is a set of new guidelines made possible by updated government policies. The ACA expansion of Medicaid introduced new possibilities for states to extend health care coverage to more individuals. However, Obamacare Medicaid expansion details only affect states that accepted the guidelines, since the rules are optional. As with the established Medicaid program, the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states is primarily covered by the federal government. The Medicaid expansion still raises some cost concerns for states, some of which decided not to accept the new coverage options. The simple answer for “What is the expansion of Medicaid?” is that it makes the eligibility requirements much more lenient towards individuals who previously did not qualify. Under the Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility rules, the group of potential beneficiaries increases to include anyone within a specific income range. Get more information about the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Utah and how it might affect coverage in the state by reading the sections ahead.
Learn About the ACA Medicaid Expansion in Utah
“What is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Utah?” is a question that many prospective Medicaid applicants ask. The proposed ACA expansion of Medicaid in UT created a path for additional low-income individuals to get affordable health care coverage. The new guidelines introduced by the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid were made available to all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Nineteen states, including Utah, chose not to accept the new ACA guidelines. The ACA Medicaid eligibility rules and funding do not apply to the states that declined expanded coverage.
Essentially, what this means is that Utah does not offer the chance for Medicaid benefits to low-income adults who do not meet criteria for the traditional Medicaid eligibility categories. Traditionally, Medicaid beneficiaries must meet the program’s income requirements in addition to meeting other criteria. Without the Medicaid expansion, Medicaid is only available to certain categories of beneficiaries, including pregnant women, senior citizens, people with disabilities, children and parents/caretakers of children. This means that Medicaid is not available to low-income applicants who are between 19 and 64 years of age and do not fit into one of these categories. The Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility guidelines were designed to help this group of applicants. In states that accepted the ACA Medicaid expansion, Medicaid eligibility is extended to applicants who have an income that does not exceed 138 percent of the federal poverty level. These applicants can qualify on income alone, without having to be a parent or senior, demonstrate a disability or meet another guideline. To learn more about the ACA Medicaid expansion, download our comprehensive guide today.
What does opting out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion mean for Utah?
Because it has not been accepted, the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in Utah is not a factor for residents seeking affordable health care. The Obamacare expansion of Medicaid is meant to spread coverage out to a broader range of low-income residents. Since Utah did not expand Medicaid, the eligibility requirements already in place in the state are not affected. Without the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, potential beneficiaries still include minors, parents of minors, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. The Medicaid application process remains the same. Completing a UT Affordable Care Act Medicaid application is not a requirement for Medicaid petitioners in Utah. Applicants for Medicaid will still need to fulfill all requirements for eligibility as determined by the program.
Since Utah did not accept the Obamacare Medicaid eligibility guidelines, thousands of residents fall within a “coverage gap” wherein they are unable to receive medical assistance. Even though these applicants have a low income, they are not eligible for Medicaid. Furthermore, they are unable to qualify for savings on a private insurance plan.
Will Utah ever expand its Medicaid program?
Currently, Utah is not planning to adopt the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion due to a range of factors, including cost concerns. Furthermore, it is possible for policies to shift and either update or eliminate the current guidelines. For now, the Affordable Care Act Medicaid application does not pertain to residents of Utah who are seeking affordable health care. Since the expansion of Medicaid does not concern state citizens, potential beneficiaries of Medicaid will only need to understand the process of obtaining care that is already in place.
Although Utah did not adopt the ACA Medicaid expansion, residents who do not qualify for Medicaid may be eligible for other programs. The state of Utah manages other assistance programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).