Thursday marked the first day states were eligible to apply for early federal funding assistance to begin a massive expansion of Medicaid as part of the new healthcare law. Some states could benefit from such a move, according to a news outlet.
Under the healthcare reform law, Medicaid will expand to include an estimated 15 million additional people who earn up to 133% of the national poverty level. While this expansion isn’t scheduled to take effect until 2014, states have the option of beginning their expansions early. Medicaid pays for approximately two-thirds of nursing home care.
States would still be on the hook for their share of Medicaid funding, but a few states might wind up benefitting from early expansion, Kaiser Health News reported. Some states, including Maine and Minnesota among others, already offer—and pay for—state-sponsored insurance plans for people earning more than the federal Medicaid cut-off limit. By folding those programs into Medicaid and applying for the early expansion funding, these states could receive federal funds to help cover those costs, according to Kaiser. More guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will become in the next week to help states make their own choices, Kaiser reports.