Reminder: Alaska Medicaid expansion officially launches today (for now, at least)
As noted a few days ago, now that a judge has put the kibosh on a legal hold, Alaska Governor Bill Walker's executive order to expand Medicaid statewide via the ACA expansion provision officially starts today, bringing healthcare coverage to up to 40,000 low-income Alaskans:
Beginning today, low-income uninsured Alaskans can apply for health coverage because of Governor Bill Walker’s decision to expand Medicaid as part of health reform. This makes Alaska the 29th state (plus the District of Columbia) to implement the expansion (see map).
Across the country, Medicaid expansion has produced state budget savings, and the historic gains in health coverage since health reform took effect have been greatest in expansion states. Now Alaska is poised to reap immediate and positive benefits of expansion: the state projects expansion will make 40,000 people eligible for coverage and could save the state budget up to $6 million this fiscal year, with greater savings in future years.
There's stll a pending lawsuit brought by the Republican-held state legislature, of course, which could gum up the works down the road, but for the moment the coast is clear.