New Coverage Gap

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that while more than 17 million more people are likely to be covered by the expansion of Medicaid beginning in January 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, millions of others who were intended to be reached by “Obamacare” will be left out. That is because a Supreme Court ruling in June 2012 made the expansion of Medicaid optional for states. As of October 2013, 25 states did not plan to implement the expansion. In states that do not expand Medicaid, nearly five million poor, uninsured adults have incomes above Medicaid eligibility levels but below the poverty line. Kaiser says they may fall into a “coverage gap,” earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. More than a fifth of people in the coverage gap reside in Texas. Sixteen percent live in Florida, 8 percent in Georgia, 7 percent in North Carolina and 6 percent in Pennsylvania.

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