The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a report showing that Iowa is one of only a handful of states (eight to be exact) that would see reduction in costs in the Medicaid program should the Legislature and governor agree to expand the program per the recommendations of the federal Affordable Care Act.
IHA supports such an effort as doing so would have a positive impact on Iowa’s businesses, state budget, Medicaid beneficiaries and hospitals.
Some of Iowa’s elected officials remain skeptical of the program, fearing that the federal government will not keep its end the bargain to provide funding for the expanded population in a phased down approach that would require Iowa to kick in 10 percent of the cost after the third year. The federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years of the program.
However, the Kaiser report indicates that Iowa would save about $30 million annually on the Medicaid program should the program expand. The report shows that the discontinuation of the current IowaCare program (set to expire next year) would allow those beneficiaries to transition to the Medicaid program as well as transfer the costs associated with the program (40 percent currently paid by Polk and Iowa county taxpayers and 60 percent by the federal government).
In addition to the 70,000 Iowans who could transition from IowaCare to Medicaid, the report estimates another 60,000 or more Iowans who don’t qualify for Medicaid today (and are likely uninsured) would qualify for Medicaid under an expanded program. This represents a wide swath of Iowa’s poor children, parents of children, people with serious disabilities and elderly people who would receive health benefits from an expanded Medicaid program.
Click here to read the full Kaiser report
Click here to read IHA’s Policy Brief on Medicaid Expansion.