END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (41 states)

Time: D H M S

Pennsylvania: How'd this slip by me? Medicaid expansion *definitely* going through...one way or the other...

Hat Tip To: 
Mary B. , Esther F.

Last night I noted that both Alaska and Wyoming are strongly considering jumping in the ACA Medicaid expansion pool. If both go through, the number of states which have expanded the program would rise to 31 out of 51 (if you include DC). Tennessee is also considering an Arkansas-style "private Medicaid option".

I also mentioned in passing that one of the "existing" expansion states was Pennsylvania. I knew they were also talking about a "private option" program, but I wasn't sure what the status of the program was. I didn't think it was a done deal yet, but the Kaiser Family Foundation has already struck PA off of their "Medicaid Gap" list, so I'm including them in the tally.

Well, this morning, not one but two site supporters have confirmed that not only is PA definitely moving forward with that program, it might actually end up being "full" expansion instead of the "private option" after all...along with some other useful tidbits I didn't know about:

I saw your post about medicaid expansion in Wyoming & Alaska. You also mentioned Pennsylvania medicaid expansion. People can start to sign up on Monday, December 1st. Coverage will begin on January 1st. Govenor-elect Tom Wolf has said said he wants normal medicaid expansion, not the privitized option that Corbett got approved. There is a website called Healthy Pennsylvania: www.healthypa.com

It would seem to me that eventually this website could somehow be integrated with Health Care.gov to protect those of us who are getting subsidies through Healthcare.gov in case the Supreme Court takes away those subsidies. Govenor-elect Wolf has said he'd like Pennsylvania to have its own exchange anyway.

Excellent news on both fronts! However, this does mean things are about to get a bit messy:

The man who will replace Gov. Tom Corbett in January promises to replace his Medicaid expansion plan, leaving thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians who can sign up starting on Monday facing more changes next year.

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf, a Democrat, promised during his campaign that he would expand Medicaid, the federal health care for low-income people, to about 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians. Despite that pledge and Wolf's victory, outgoing Republican Corbett is pushing to implement Healthy PA, his federally approved program that reforms Medicaid for existing users and provides private-option coverage for 600,000 previously uninsured.

Wolf has asked Corbett, the defeated incumbent, to halt implementation.

"The more Healthy PA moves ahead, the harder in terms of time and money it is to undo," said spokesman Jeff Sheridan. "The easiest way to move toward a full Medicaid expansion is for Healthy PA to stop moving forward now."

Hmm...well, that's 600,000 people who'll have coverage either way, I guess...