After more than 6 years, full Medicaid expansion will finally be open for enrollment this week
On January 1st, 60,000 Utahns Will Become Eligible for Medicaid Expansion Coverage, With Work Requirements Moving Forward
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
12/31/2019

Contact:
Maria Guadarrama, Take Care Utah Community Relations Director
435-764-0377

Allison Heffernan, Substance Use Disorder Outreach and Enrollment Program Director
385-313-8513

Matt Slonaker, Executive Director
406-360-2981

SALT LAKE— Beginning January 1st, up to 60,000 Utahns who were previously ineligible will be able to qualify for health insurance through Utah's new full Medicaid expansion. This new extension of eligibility expands coverage up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, or approximately $17,000 for an individual, or $35,000 for a family of four.

This expansion of eligibility has been the focus of intense grassroots advocacy efforts for more than six years in Utah, first in the legislature, then through a citizen ballot initiative. During the 2019 legislative session, when the repeal of the Proposition 3 Utah Decides Healthcare expansion was being debated, advocates again rose up and spoke out against full repeal-- fighting instead for a "Fallback Plan" in case of federal denial of the requested partial expansion.

That fallback proposal is what was approved on December 23rd, and what will be implemented on January 1st.

There are still many unanswered questions, but as of this week there are two certainties: expansion of eligibility up to 138% FPL, and the introduction of work reporting requirements. While UHPP remains concerned about those red tape burdens, and dedicated to fighting to overturn them and inform enrollees how to navigate them, this week we are focused on celebrating this massive victory for advocates and enrollment assisters-- but more importantly, for the people of Utah who have been waiting for years without access to affordable care.

Take Care Utah is thrilled to finally have full Medicaid expansion as an option to offer Utahns who come through our doors. Our free assistance is available year-round, and we look forward to helping lead a boom in sign ups. For too long we have had to turn people away because their income was too low to qualify for care, or after partial expansion, they would qualify, but then be unable to afford the Marketplace out-of-pocket costs and remain uninsured. This expansion of coverage will have a powerful real-world impact.
"Too many of our clients have been waiting too long. But this is very exciting news." says Maria Guadarrama, Take Care Utah Community Relations Director. "Take Care Utah and other community partners are here to help with the enrollment process. Please reach out for help, don't wait another minute." Visit: www.takecareutah.org or call 801-433-2299

"Unfortunately, I've seen a number of people experiencing Substance Use Disorders fall through the cracks. This expansion will give them an opportunity to get the treatment they deperately need." said Allison Heffernan, UHPP's Substance Use Disorder Enrollment Director.

"This is a proud moment for Utah. Full expansion goes live January 1st, 2020. Later than we wanted and more complicated than we wanted, but wonderful news. This type of transformative change only comes once in a generation." said Matt Slonaker, Executive Director of Utah Health Policy Project and cofounder of Utah Decides Health Care Ballot Initiative Campaign to expand Medicaid. "The work search requirement complicates things, but don't let that deter you from enrolling. Enrollment assistors are available to help if you need it."





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