UNINSURED IDAHO VETERANS AFFECTED BY DECISION NOT TO EXPAND MEDICAID

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Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: Nearly 4,000 uninsured Idaho veterans would be eligible for health insurance if the state expanded Medicaid coverage. That’s according to new analysis from the Urban Institute, reported by Stateline.

Idaho isn’t expanding Medicaid coverage to more low-income residents, although the governor has said he isn’t ruling it out.

As Stateline reports, in states that expand the program, adults at 138 percent of the federal poverty line (that’s earning $15,415 annually) will be eligible for health care in January through Medicaid. But not in Idaho.

Many people assume that the nation’s 12.5 million non-elderly veterans receive health benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). But only two-thirds of those veterans are eligible for VA health care and only one-third are enrolled.

Nationwide, there are about 1.3 million uninsured veterans.

In a recent report, the Urban Institute estimated that if every state embraced the new Medicaid rules, as many as 535,000 uninsured veterans and 174,000 veterans’ spouses would become eligible for Medicaid coverage. – Stateline

Idaho is one of 23 states that is not expanding Medicaid to more low-income people. Six states haven’t made a decision, 21 states will expand coverage.

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