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Medicaid Expansion Explained State by State

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act kicks in to high gear before the open enrollment deadline of March 31, it might be time to make sure everyone who is eligible for Medicaid understands how to sign up for coverage and where your state stands regarding Medicaid expansion.

    The best place to start your search is on the official Healthcare.gov website. Please don't buy the fear tactics many are employing to think that the website is still inoperable because it is not true. The vast majority of the problems surrounding the website have been fixed and it has been working smoothly for the past few months.

    What you need to understand next is that your eligibility will greatly depend on whether your state expanded Medicaid or not. After the Supreme Courts ruling striking down the Medicaid expansion mandate, many states moved to deny millions of their citizens quality health care in their ceaseless drive to weaken the law. As of this posting, 26 States and Washington, D.C. are expanding Medicaid, 6 states are currently debating expansion, and 19 states are not currently moving forward on Medicaid expansion.

    You must also keep in mind that there is still a possibility that your state will expand Medicaid even if they aren't currently moving forward with it. Multiple states that initially voted against expanding Medicaid have reversed course and others will be sure to follow. My suggestion is to keep up to date with what your state legislature is doing and be prepared for any scenario.

    Another important thing to know is that even if your state is not expanding Medicaid, you still may qualify for subsidies depending on your income and family size. It is also important to understand that if you currently make $11,490 a year as a single person or about $23,550 for a family of 4, you may be eligible for Medicaid based on existing Federal law.

    So, it is very important to do your research. Click on the above links to see where your state stands with regards to Medicaid and Medicaid expansion. Some states are leaps and bounds ahead of others, but don't give up if your state is not on the expansion list yet. There is a good chance these states will come around once their citizens see millions of other people receiving quality health care, but it may take time. Until then, it is important to do your own homework and see what coverage you are eligible for.