The planned Medicaid expansion for low-income adults without dependent children has undergone a few changes in its implementation plans. First, the program will initially roll out on a limited basis, will only be available for those who have incomes below 10% of the federal poverty level, and will only be available for 10,000 persons. The method of determining who will be the 10,000 is by random selection, as opposed to first come, first serve. All others who would otherwise be eligible will be put on a wait list.
Applications can be first submitted in on April 1 of this year (but if received for processing earlier, the application will be denied), and the first random selection process will be run on May 15. Each month thereafter, if there are spots that happen to open up on the Medicaid program, additional random selection processes will be run to keep the program filled.
This means that all estimated 49,511 adults without dependent children who live under 10% of the poverty level (single adults earning less than $100 a month or a couple earning less than $122 a month) will continue to have a chance to get on the program after its initial roll-out.
While we think it is likely that this program will happen as expected, these new decisions are still pending approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the federal level.
Also, while encouraging folks to apply for this new eligibility category, the hope is that more folks will have the opportunity to receive other resources for which they are eligible, such as food and/or cash assistance. Since clinics are presumably already seeing much of this population, assisting the newly eligible with their benefits and assisting the ineligible with applying for other services will be a key to answering the needs of the entire population. Doctors Care is happy to have staff and volunteers on hand to support those people.
Contributed by Health Systems Analyst Aubrey Hill, MPP, (504) 615-3085 Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved