The U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling on the Affordable Care Act puts the decision of making Medicaid available to parents and childless adults up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level in the hands of each state. This means Governor Beshear has as tough decision ahead of him. We want to make sure he knows that advocates for kids believe covering parents through Medicaid is the right thing to do for families in the Commonwealth. Sign on here to show Governor Beshear that you support covering parents through Medicaid in Kentucky.
Making Medicaid available to parents who have an income of up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level is a great policy to implement to strengthen Kentucky’s economic future. The benefits that the Commonwealth would see are as follows:
1. Health coverage for parents increases family economic stability. Uninsured parents have more difficultly accessing needed health care, which can potentially compromise their ability to work, support their families, and care for their children. An expansion of Medicaid could give the one in four children living in poverty in Kentucky a chance for a healthy and prosperous future.
2. Parent coverage leads to more children having health coverage. Studies have consistently shown that covering parents improves their children’s coverage rates. In fact, low-income families with uninsured parents are three times as likely to have uninsured children compared to parents with private coverage or Medicaid.
3. The federal government will pick up the vast majority of the costs of covering parents and adults under Medicaid, helping more than 400,000 Kentuckians get the health coverage they need. The federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs for the first three years of Kentucky’s expansion (2014-2016), and will then phase down to 90 percent on a permanent basis after that. That’s a deal we can’t afford to turn down.
4. Medicaid expansion will result in deep savings in money spent on the uninsured. While there may be some up-front cost, this solution will ultimately result in savings. Kentucky will save money that state and local governments now spend on emergency room and other care, including mental health services, for the uninsured. One study estimated that Kentucky will save between $140 million and $828 million in the first five years.
Governor Beshear has a history of making children’s health coverage a priority by expanding outreach efforts to enroll eligible but uninsured children in the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance program and by removing barriers to enrollment. Let’s encourage him to stand up again for family health coverage by expanding Medicaid for parents and adults.
Sign-on here to ask Governor Beshear to step up for kids and families in Kentucky.