Medicaid Now Critical to Aging Workers

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For decades, the Medicaid program has subsidized health care for the poor, including retirees.

Yet, until recently, it largely excluded most working-age adults without disabilities due to a strict monthly income limit.

medicaid logoAll that changed in the 32 states and the District of Columbia that accepted the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) option to expand their Medicaid coverage to low-income working people.

In 2010, the ACA increased Medicaid’s income limits for people to qualify for the insurance. Today, working baby boomers, as well as younger workers, can qualify if their income is below 138% of federal poverty levels – or $1,396 per month for a single person and $1,892 for couples.

This joint federal-state program now completely or partially insures about one in six people approaching retirement age, according to a new report citing U.S. Census Bureau data.

The expansion is at least partly responsible for a striking improvement in one statistic: the uninsured rate for adults between ages 50 and 64 fell from 15.5 percent in 2012 to 9.1 percent in 2016.

At the same time, total federal and state expenditures on the Medicaid program now amount to 3 percent of gross domestic product to keep pace with rising medical costs and a growing insured population.

The ability to meet the growing needs of an aging population will hinge on the debate over the levels of future funding for the program.

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4 comments
DAVID W HAARTZ

I hope that is monthly income!!

    Mike Hudson

    I too hope that is monthly income.

Lauren Davis

And I hope I will reach retirement lol

Mary Robertson

I’m glad to hear the lawmakers in Virginia finally succeeded in passing Medicare expansion in that state, giving more than 400,000 low income citizens access to government health insurance beginning next year. Several other states are on the path to doing so as well. Good news for retirees and younger people as well.

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