Did you know that approximately 53,000 Utahns currently live in the Medicaid coverage gap — unable to qualify for Medicaid because they make too much money, but unable to get health insurance subsidies because they make too little? Thant means that tens of thousands of Utahns go without essential healthcare services and hundreds die every year from lack of healthcare coverage. These facts and figures are not about strangers living in distant countries, they reflect the personal stories of you, your neighbors and your family members.
SHARING PERSONAL STORIES CAN BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO IMPACT CHANGE.
That’s why we’re calling on Utahns to fill out this survey to share your personal stories about falling into the Medicaid gap. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Here’s a quick primer:
Medicaid in Utah
Medicaid is a jointly funded program. In Utah, about 70% of all Medicaid services are paid for by the federal government. Medicaid provides significant benefits in Utah. In fact, 20% of Utah children rely on Medicaid for healthcare (that’s 200,000 kids). Medicaid covers children and youth with special heath care needs like disabilities and chronic illnesses, traditionally vulnerable populations like low-income seniors, single mothers and people with disabilities. Medicaid has certain economic benefits in Utah. For example, families with children enrolled in Medicaid have been shown to more easily move out of poverty (with fewer bankruptcies). Medicaid is also efficient in Utah, with the average cost per enrollee below the national average. The current criteria for qualifying Medicaid in Utah include:
- Parents with dependent children earning up to 60% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
- Adults without dependent children earning up to 5% of the FPL who are:
- Chronically homeless
- Involved in the justice system through probation, parole, or court ordered treatment needing substance abuse or mental health treatment
- Needing substance abuse treatment or mental health treatment
The current plan leaves 53,000 Utahns in the Medicaid coverage gap and deprives our state of hundreds of millions of federal dollars to support our healthcare needs and bolster our economy.
Under the Affordable Care Act, individual states have the option to expand Medicaid to new adults earning up to 138% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Without expansion, there remains a gap in coverage for adults who do not currently qualify for Medicaid and are ineligible to receive benefits and subsidies through the federally facilitated marketplace. Are you one of those people?
CALL TO ACTION
- If you fall into the Medicaid coverage gap, fill out this survey to share your personal story so that it can impact the discussion on healthcare and help us fight for Medicaid expansion.
- If you don’t fall into the Medicaid coverage gap, SHARE THIS — chances are that people close to you fall into the gap. Give them the opportunity to speak up in favor of getting coverage at long last.
- Everyone sign this petition to Governor Herbert and state legislative leadership to expand Medicaid in Utah.