HHS Releases Final Medicaid Expansion Rules

Margaret Dick Tocknell, March 16, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services released Friday its final rules for the expansion of the Medicaid program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The final rule will make it easier for eligible individuals and families to enroll in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by cutting back on red tape and coordinating enrollment with health insurance exchanges. Families will be able to enroll in the appropriate coverage program through a single, online application. States will have the benefit of reduced administrative costs.

The ACA makes Medicaid available to individuals between the ages of 19 and 64 with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level.  Currently the range is from $14,856 for an individual and $30,656 for a family of four. These changes will become effective in 2014 when HIX begin operation. The federal government will pay 100% of the cost of the Medicaid expansion for the first three years and at least 90% after that.

“The Medicaid improvements in the Affordable Care Act will help simplify the system and ensure all Americans have the affordable high-quality coverage they need,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a press statement.

Medicaid expansion is being challenged by the State of Florida.

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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