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(Neb)-Voter-Approved Medicaid Expansion Won't Start In Neb Until Oct 2020

By: John Axtell Posted at: 04/02/2019 05:47 PM
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska voters last year approved an expansion of Medicaid in the state to cover another 90,000 low-income residents, but it will be nearly 2 full years after the election before those residents get their health care coverage.

     Nebraska Medicaid Director Matthew Van Patton says the amended state Medicaid plan has now been submitted to the federal government for approval and it calls for coverage to go live on Oct. 1, 2020.  Van Patton says the long timeline is necessary to get everything ready.
     The proposal would create two tiers of coverage. Basic coverage would be based on a commercial health plan, while more comprehensive "prime" coverage would require that recipients be working, in school, volunteering or caring for a relative. Prime coverage would include dental, vision and over-the-counter drug coverage.

       Renee Fry, executive director of the liberal-leaning OpenSky Policy Institute, says she's disappointed the implementation date is 10 months later than budgeted for by the governor and the Legislature's Appropriations Committee.

      Fry says the delay not only affects eligible enrollees but also the state budget, as other expansion states have seen substantial economic benefits, including savings in corrections and mental health programs." 


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