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Hawaii one of 13 states expanding Medicaid coverage

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:54 p.m. HST, Oct 19, 2012

Jamm Aquino / jaquino@staradvertiser.comCommunity outpatient clinics like the Waikiki Health Center have become busier as fewer private doctors accept Medicaid and Medicare patients. Certified physician assistant Isabel Hung tends to a patient at the center.

President Barack Obama’s health care law would expand the number of people on Medicaid by raising the income ceiling for eligibility, but some states aren’t so sure they want to participate because they are worried they might not be able to ultimately put up their share of funding.

Six states are rejecting expanding eligibility. Hawaii is one of 13 states electing to expand coverage. The rest of the country is undecided at this point.

Hawaii modified eligibility rules for Medicaid in July, which removed about 3,600 residents from the rolls. At the same time, Hawaii increased benefits for 14,000 people already enrolled in Quest, the Hawaii program for Medicaid. The move was made due to budgetary considerations last year, according to the state.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld the health care law but said the Medicaid expansion would be optional, not mandatory.

MEDICAID: WHERE THE STATES STAND

REJECTING EXPANSION:
Florida
Georgia
Louisiana
Mississippi
South Carolina
Texas

EXPANDING:
Arkansas
California
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Hawaii
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Rhode Island
Vermont
Washington

UNDECIDED:
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Colorado
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Maine
Michigan
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Source: The Advisory Board Company






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