The Idaho Medicaid work group, formed by Gov. Butch Otter to evaluate Medicaid expansion to low-income adults, will hold its second meeting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27 at the State Capitol, EW-40.
Otter appointed 15 people from the public and private sectors to evaluate the potential impact to Idaho of expanding Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states originally were mandated to expand Medicaid insurance coverage to adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the poverty line roughly $31,000 a year for a family of four. A Supreme Court decision in late June ruled that Medicaid expansion is an option for states and not required, leaving it up to states to decide if they want to expand their Medicaid programs.
Medicaid is a federal-state partnership that offers medical insurance coverage to vulnerable and low-income people. In Idaho, about 235,000 people are enrolled in Medicaid, with 70 percent being children from low-income families. Idaho Medicaid also covers people with disabilities, low-income women who are pregnant, and low-income elderly. Currently, Idaho adults who are not disabled or elderly qualify for Medicaid only if they have children and an income less than 20 percent of the poverty level $4,584 a year for a family of four.
The work group plans to provide its analysis and recommendations to Otter by Nov. 1.
During the group's first meeting in August, Leavitt Partners presented a preliminary report covering the demographics and projected medical needs of the population that Medicaid expansion would cover. Idaho Medicaid had contracted with Leavitt Partners in April, before the Supreme Court decision or formation of the governors workgroup, to study the possible expansion population. Leavitt Partners will provide an updated summary and full report at the September meeting.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare plans to use a live Twitter feed during the meeting to highlight the key points from the Leavitt Partners report. You can follow @IDHW. Audio of the meeting also will be available at: http://idahoptv.org/leglive/