Current Status of Medicaid Expansion in State:
State has decided not to expand Medicaid.
The governor’s office has been calling the shots thus far, but the decision to reject the expansion program will now be reviewed by the state legislature.
· 1, 015, 576 people are enrolled in the current program, 74% of whom have Managed Care. Coverage included 100-133% FPL for families or monthly income not exceeding $718 for an individual or $1068 for a couple under SSI. The HIV/AIDS Waiver is $2094 per month. The Alabama Medicaid Agency oversees the state’s Medicaid program
· An expansion of Medicare to 133% FPL would be a 37% increase on the current program. A projection developed by the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham estimates 306,000 currently uninsured individuals would qualify for the expanded program and an additional 165,000 people would be eligible to switch from private coverage to the expanded Medicaid program
· Thus far the state has engaged in some study, and was undecided until after the November elections. Since then the governor has said the state will not be participating in the expansion. The decision will now move to the legislature, where advocacy groups are hard at work to promote the expansion.
· Thus far the governor has been making decisions but seems to utilizing regular policymaking process.
o Following the Supreme Court’s decision the governor’s office expressed “disappointment” with the ruling and had not yet decided on a course of action. “We don’t know that the state can afford it,” said Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. “We have serious concerns about the increased costs associated with expanding entitlement programs, but we need to understand the larger implications of the ruling as a whole before deciding the best course of action.” Alabama was one of the 25 states that sued for a repeal of the law.
· There has been no apparent widespread outreach to communities or stakeholders, but focus groups have been used for studying benchmark options.
· In his rejection of the expansion, the governor said that Alabama and the United States could not afford the expansion.