Alaska is joining many states and expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare. Individuals making less than 138% FPL  (roughly $20,000) will qualify for Medicaid. Individuals who don’t qualify for Medicaid, but make anywhere under $58,880 for 2015 will qualify for cost assistance on health insurance through HealthCare.Gov. Medicaid and cost assistance eligibility increases by family size so families will have higher limits and children of these families qualify for CHIP.

Those dollar amounts come from the Alaska specific 2015 Federal Poverty Level and are based on Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). The dollar amounts increase every year, Alaska’s expansion most likely won’t go into effect before January 1st, 2016 although no exact date has been set.

“Today, Alaska becomes the 30th state to accept the benefits of Medicaid expansion,”Gov. Bill Walker said to applause at an event announcing his plans in Anchorage on Thursday July 16th, 2015.

2015 POVERTY GUIDELINES – ALASKA

 Household Size

 100%

 133%

 150%

200%

250%

 300%

400%

 1

$14,720

$19,578

$22,080

$29,440

$36,800

$44,160

$58,880

 2

19,920

 26,494

29,880

  39,840

49,800

59,760

79,680

 3

25,120

 33,410

37,680

  50,240

62,800

75,360

100,480

 4

30,320

 40,326

45,480

  60,640

75,800

90,960

121,280

 5

35,520

 47,242

53,280

  71,040

88,800

106,560

142,080

 6

40,720

54,158

61,080

  81,440

101,800

122,160

162,880

 7

45,920

 61,074

68,880

  91,840

114,800

137,760

183,680

 8

51,120

 67,990

76,680

  102,240

127,800

153,360

204,480

Gov. Bill Walker talks to Medicaid expansion supporters. Photo by Marc Lester / ADN

Gov. Bill Walker talks to Medicaid expansion supporters. Photo by Marc Lester / ADN

The History of Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Due, in part, to Republican leadership Alaska chose not to expand Medicaid after many “red” states opted out of expanding health coverage to their state’s poorest despite 90 – 100% federal funding on January 1st, 2014. Since that date many states, and now including Alaska, decided to expand Medicaid either as envisioned by the ACA or by filing a waiver and creating an acceptable alternative. After about a year and a half of in-fighting between Alaska officials a decision to expand just barely passed and was announced by Gov. Bill Walker. This will cover as many as 42,000 Alaskans.

“Alaska and Alaskans cannot wait any longer,” Walker said. “This is the final option for me. I’ve tried everything else,” he said of his decision to circumvent lawmakers after months of lobbying them to enact his plan via legislation. “I never give up, and I won’t give up.”

Gov. Bill Walker will meet with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to discuss Medicaid expansion next week. There is not an exact date for the expansion taking place, but it would make sense if it were in place by January 1st, 2016.

What do you think?

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QueenB on

It is about time all states expanded Medicaid. Really???

Paul Johnson on

Alaska is facing an astronomical budget deficit crisis to the tune of about $3.5B; yes that billion with a “B”. We as residents of Alaska are analyzing our spending and Medicaid is our #2 item in terms of gross spending. I am wondering if Alaska’s expansion of Medicaid utilizing federal funds actually will help reduce that percentage of our spending because prior to Medicaid Expansion it was already our second highest spending category – and our delay was purely political. I am looking for information that proves accepting is good for states (fiscally speaking as the healthcare benefits are self evident) who spend billions on Medicaid within our states.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Yeah,

Here is a copy and paste from our main Medicaid page (which is long, this is at the bottom). http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacares-medicaid-expansion/

While states like Florida and Colorado say that a 3% increase in spending is too much, states like Michigan are showing that the states can actually save money by adopting the Medicaid expansion.

The nonprofit Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation projected the net costs of Michigan expanding Medicaid under the health system reform law. In all three scenarios of enrollment uptake assumed by the researchers, the state would reduce both overall spending and the numbers of uninsured residents. Figures represent the state’s 10-year cost savings, in millions, under moderate projections for the enrollment of newly Medicaid-eligible residents in 2014 (the expansion’s first year).

$1,861 million: Reduction in non-Medicaid mental health spending

$504 million: Reduction in prisoner inpatient medical spending

$444 million: Increase in tax revenues from health facilities and professionals

$395 million: Savings from elimination of Adult Benefit Waiver program

$23 million: Reduction in state employee health spending

$3,228 million: Total state budget savings

$2,245 million: Gross state expansion costs

$983 million: Net state budget savings

Note: Savings amounts do not add up to total savings due to rounding.

Source: “The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion: Michigan Impact,” Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation: http://www.chrt.org/publication/acas-medicaid-expansion-michigan-impact-state-budgetary-estimates-impacts/
http://www.chrt.org/publication/the-impact-of-the-affordable-care-act-in-michigan/