Utah has long resisted full Medicaid expansion with the arguments that the state cannot afford it, while low-income Utahns
afford the cost sharing required in the Marketplace.
This position relies on the insistence that there is highly-subsidized “platinum-level” coverage available on the Marketplace for people above the poverty line. This report illustrates how that claim quickly loses steam once you dig deeper into the options available and examine the out-of-pocket costs facing the lowest-income enrollees.
This look at the importance of the low price of Medicaid comes just as the Department of Health is requesting added cost sharing on new Medicaid expansion enrollees. These added premiums and increased penalties for non-emergent ER usage would be an unnecessary step backward, and will keep people from the care they need.
Advocates for full Medicaid expansion have spent years arguing that access to Marketplace is not enough for people closest to the poverty line, and this analysis illustrates just how vital Medicaid is for the vulnerable Utahns in the expansion population.