Groups Seek To Fix Coverage Gap In Utahs Healthcare

May 21, 2014

Two groups released a report Wednesday about the gap in Medicaid, and ways to fix the gap. Currently, a family of three that earns more than $9,300 annually are not eligible for to receive Medicaid in Utah.

Rachel Klein, enrollment program director for Families USA, said this leaves a gap between being poor enough to receive Medicaid and wealthy enough to afford insurance.

“Utah is debating whether to extend affordable health insurance coverage to more low income residents,” she said. “Residents who are unable to receive tax credits to buy insurance and who are not covered by the Medicaid program. They are largely uninsured and fall into what is known as the coverage gap.” 

The plan would focus on helping nearly 140,000 Utahns who fall into this gap, according the U.S Census.

“Most of the people who would be helped are working,” Klein said. “These people are the backbone of the economy in Utah and people that we see every day.”

Utah citizens would not be paying for the new healthcare recipients according to RyLee Stowell Curtis, who is the Medicaid policy analyst for the Utah Health Policy Project.

“The federal government will pay 100 percent of the expansion cost so all of the newly eligible people would be covered by the government until 2016,” Curtis said. “Then it would be split to 90 percent government and 10 percent state."

Utah Governor Gary Herbert could be discussing the proposed plan as early as this summer but it may take till the summer of 2015 until the benefits would be received.