Eye On Boise

Consultant's report outlines details of how Medicaid expansion would work

The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare has received its full report from consultant Leavitt Partners on potential expansion of Medicaid in Idaho under the Affordable Care Act. The governor's Medicaid expansion working group has scheduled a Sept. 27 meeting to review the report; click here for the full meeting announcement and links to the full report and its executive summary.

Among the report's findings: There's no deadline for the state to decide whether or not to expand its Medicaid program, and states can opt out of the expansion at any time. If Idaho decides to expand, the report recommends doing so in 2014, giving the state a full three years of 100 percent federal funding, and the option of opting out after those three years. That would require taking steps now to prepare, it notes. Other points in the report: Most of those who would become eligible for expanded Medicaid in Idaho have income of less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level - 75 percent fall below that level, and despite those low incomes, 64 percent are employed.

Idaho's existing Medicaid program offers no coverage to childless adults. Its current income limit for jobless parents is about 21 percent of the federal poverty level - that's $4,584 a year for a family of four - and for working parents, 39 percent.  The expansion would cover people with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line.

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Eye On Boise

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