A new report shows that Utah’s economy would benefit from an expansion of Medicaid, creating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity.
The report comes from the national nonprofit organization Families USA and Utah Health Policy Project. UHPP Director Judi Hilman told KUER an expansion of Medicaid will allow millions of federal dollars to flow into Utah, stimulating the economy.
Healthcare advocates converged on the Capitol Friday to encourage lawmakers to expand Medicaid to more low income residents, but state lawmakers held off on debate for now, and said the Governor will have to make the decision.
Family physician Ray Ward kicked off the meeting of the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee with an impassioned plea for the expansion of Medicaid to cover an estimated 145,000 more low-income Utahns.
The federal government has conditionally approved Utah’s health insurance exchange known as Avenue H. But the feds say more work needs to be done for the state-based exchange to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act.
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius praised Utah for making "significant progress" with its online insurance marketplace. She says she’s confident Avenue H will be federally compliant by the deadline of October this year. In a conference call, federal health administrator Gary Cohen essentially put the ball in Utah’s court.
The state’s Health System Reform Task Force had its final meeting Monday before the legislative session, but questions remain about health reform - in particular, who will run Utah’s health insurance exchange.
The Utah Department of Health has hired an outside firm to study the costs and benefits of expanding Medicaid in the state. The department has been gathering feedback from the public on what should be considered in the study.
Christina Osburn has a brain tumor and epilepsy. She’s been on Medicaid for more than 10 years, but she expects to lose that coverage because her income will soon exceed the threshold to qualify.
Governor Gary Herbert sent a letter to President Barack Obama Tuesday morning asking the federal government to let Utah keep Avenue H, the state’s health insurance exchange, without making changes to it.
Low-income advocates are asking Governor Gary Herbert to remember Utahns who can’t afford basic healthcare this holiday season. On Friday, staff from Crossroads Urban Center and some uninsured Utahns presented results from a survey showing the connection between hunger and high healthcare costs.
Crossroads Urban Center surveyed more than 300 of the people they helped with food this year. Marjorie Hurder is a Social Justice Advocate at the Center, and she conducted many of the interviews.
Governor Gary Herbert sent a letter Monday morning to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The letter declares the Governor’s intentions to continue to pursue Utah’s state-based health insurance exchange – known as Avenue H, rather than a federally-designed exchange. But the letter also says that this decision could change as the state receives more information.
Enclosed with Governor Gary Herbert’s letter is a list of top ten unanswered questions about federal exchanges.