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Since Oct. 1, the team at KDMC has received numerous inquires from patients regarding Medicaid expansion in Kentucky and Ohio. The medical center’s team of experts has assembled an easy-to-understand guide to answer some of these questions, as well as resources to learn more information. The guide can be found online at www.kdmc.com.

Kentucky is among the 25 states, along with the District of Columbia, moving forward with Medicaid expansion. A provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the expansion will allow coverage for nearly all Kentucky residents under age 65 with family incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or less than $32,499 for a family of four.

Individuals in 104 Kentucky counties who are determined to be newly eligible for Medicaid can now choose from five Medicaid-mananged care organizations: Anthem, Coventry, Humana/CareSource, Passport and Wellcare. To qualify for Medicaid services, several criteria must be met, including state residency, U.S. citizenship and proof of income.

According to an analysis of the ACA by The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Kentucky lawmakers chose the expasion for three main reasons: that the commonwealth ranks poorest in most national health rankings, the positive economic and budgetary impacts expected and the significant costs associated with the alternative. The report cites more than an estimated 200,000 Kentuckians wouldn’t be eligible for Medicaid or subsidized coverage without the expansion.

Ohio is among the other half of the United States yet to decide on expansion. A ballot initiative/petition that would attempt to place the provision on the November 2013 ballot for statewide vote is underway. There is no deadline for the remaining states to implement Medicaid expansion, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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