Medicaid Expansion under the ACA - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Medicaid Expansion under the ACA

The ACA expands state Medicaid programs beginning in 2014 to cover nearly all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level ($15,856 for an individual or $26,951 for a family of three in 2013).

The ACA establishes a uniform minimum Medicaid eligibility level and income definition across all states and eliminates a prohibition that prevented states from providing Medicaid coverage to adults without dependent children except under a waiver of federal rules.

However, while the Supreme Court upheld the ACA in June 2012, it limited the federal government’s ability to enforce the Medicaid expansion to low-income adults, effectively making implementation of the Medicaid expansion a state choice. This means eligibility for Medicaid for this population will vary depending on whether a state implements the expansion.

In New Jersey, Governor Christie announced in his budget address in February 2013 that NJ will participate in the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This provision is expected to extend Medicaid coverage to approximately 300,000 uninsured New Jerseyans.

Unfortunately, Governor Christie has vetoed multiple bills passed in the NJ legislature that would have made his announced expansion a law in New Jersey. The Governor wants to keep open his option to end the expansion program when and if he decides.

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