Redesigning Medicaid in Nebraska

Nebraska’s failure to participate in the new Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act has, for two years, allowed low-income, working Nebraskans to fall into a health care coverage gap that has left them economically and medically vulnerable. At least 54,000 of our friends, family members and neighbors do not qualify for Medicaid, cannot afford private insurance, and have incomes too low to qualify for tax credits in the new health insurance marketplace. Yes, you read that right… with incomes too low to qualify for coverage in the healthcare exchange.

The Medicaid Redesign Act, LB 472, would help redesign Nebraska’s Medicaid program, creating a Nebraska-specific plan for better, more cost-effective health coverage while also closing the coverage gap and providing coverage to working Nebraskans with low incomes who cannot afford insurance under the current system.

LB 472 sets out a framework to redesign Medicaid and close the coverage gap, providing the Governor and Department of Health and Human Services broad latitude to design and implement a plan for Nebraska.

Moreover, through 2016, 100% of the cost will be covered by the federal government. The federal share will then gradually settle to 90% in 2020 where it will then remain. And most enrollees would be required to contribute up to 2% of their income to the cost of their coverage.

The Medicaid Redesign Act - LB 472 - is a responsible, commonsense Nebraska solution to closing the health care coverage gap. Let’s get this done.