State legislatures and governors are currently facing the question of whether they will choose to expand Medicaid under the terms of the healthcare law. So far a majority of states appears to be on track to adopting the expansion that would allow anyone earning up to 133% of the poverty limit to receive Medicaid, or as it is known in California, Medi-Cal.
However, according to a new study from the Kaiser commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Georgetown University Center for Children and families, 47 states have either already taken, or are currently requesting additional federal funds so they can upgrade their Medicaid application systems.
The Medicaid modernization movement is designed to make it easier for people to apply for the joint federal and state-funded health care program. Because the healthcare law requires all states to establish a healthcare exchange by January 1, 2014, the streamlined application processes needs to be completed before the year is over.
The health-care exchanges that each state is either going to create or allow the federal government to create on their behalf are designed to allow small businesses and individuals who self-pay for health insurance a competitive marketplace in which to obtain coverage. The exchanges will allow for greater competition between healthcare insurance programs and will be established by the federal government if the individual states cannot or will not do it on their own.
Currently, 37 states have now created Medicaid application systems that allow for online enrollment, while 45 have linked applications with the Social Security Administration for verification purposes.