When the Obama Administration rolled out the Affordable Care Act, part of the program was for states to expand Medicaid coverage for those who made up to 138 percent of the poverty level. In exchange for states doing this, the federal government would pick up the vast majority of the state’s additional Medicaid costs.
Many states did expand Medicaid, yet several did not and have not. One state that did expand Medicaid coverage was Indiana. Indiana did make some requirements on new Medicaid recipients. They were required to pay a small premium for the coverage. If the premium was not paid, they would be removed from the Medicaid rolls. Those who didn’t not pay for two consecutive months were locked out of the Medicaid system for a period of six months.
Since Indiana’s Medicaid expansion law has been in effect, 25,000 people have been dropped from the Medicaid program due to a failure to pay their premiums. Those who are under the poverty level don’t have their health coverage removed, but the Medicaid coverage for dental care and vision care are dropped.
Now, Indiana wants to place further restrictions on Medicaid recipients. The state wants to require all able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer for at least 20 hours each week. Those who fail to meet these requirements will be dropped from Medicaid.
Anti-poverty advocates are upset about the existing and proposed rules. They feel that dropping someone from coverage will only lead to more emergency room use. They also feel that those dropped from coverage may experience poorer health as a result of loss of care