Tuesday, February 04, 2014

MEDICAID - When You Fall Into the Gap

"In a state without Medicaid expansion, uninsured South Carolinians mind the gap" PBS Newshour 2/3/2014


MARY JO BROOKS (Newshour):  Sixty-year-old Walter Durst had hoped the Affordable Care Act meant he could finally get health insurance.  Laid off from a retail job six years ago, he now makes less $1,000 a month working odd jobs.

WALTER DURST, South Carolina resident:  Its like stepping on eggshells.  You’re just afraid all the time of catching something.  There are a few things that I know I need done, like a colonoscopy, that I can’t — I can’t do.

MARY JO BROOKS:  But Durst isn’t getting coverage any time soon, since he falls into a gap:  He can’t afford plans on the health exchange, but also isn’t eligible for Medicaid in South Carolina.  Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was to be expanded to include anyone under 65 who made up to 133 percent of the poverty level.  That’s basically $15,000 a year for an individual.

However, the Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out.  And South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was among the first to announce that her state would do just that.

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