States Must Expand Medicaid All the Way if They Want to Receive Full Affordable Care Act (ACA) Funding

After months of waiting for an answer about partial expansion of Medicaid, states received a reply from the Obama administration that if they partially expand Medicaid coverage, they will not receive the enhanced funding that would come with a full expansion.

The Health and Human Services Secretary wrote a letter to governors Monday about the Medicaid expansion and other aspects of the health care law and included a question-and-answer document touching on details.  There is no deadline for states to decide on the Medicaid expansion, and they can join at any time.

States can still seek partial Medicaid expansions under pre-ACA (also known informally as Obamacare) rules, but would receive less federal money.  The federal government pays an average of 60% of the costs for people already eligible for Medicaid and the states pay the rest.  The health care reform law may allow states to obtain the higher federal funding starting in 2017 but only as part of comprehensive overhaul of a state’s health care system that must cover at least the same number of people as the ACA at the same cost to the federal government and to patients.  Read the Washington Post Article.
Taking the partial Medicaid expansion off the table could encourage more states to take the federal money and offer new Medicaid benefits to everyone eligible under health care reform. According to Jocelyn Guyer, the co-executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, “Most states are going to look at this and eventually decide it’s a good, smart investment for them to do the expansion.”

We here at Farr Law Firm, P.C. help clients ever day with Medicaid eligibility, and are delighted to share this encouraging news about the expansion of the Medicaid program. If you have a loved one currently in a nursing home, or who may need nursing home care in the near future, or who is worried about the possibility of needing nursing home care in the not too distant future, please call us today.  Medicaid and Medicaid Asset Protection are our firm’s specialties, and we will be thrilled to discuss Medicaid with you at any time.  Please call us at 703-691-1888 to learn more.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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