The Bridge to The Middle-Class
West Virginians for Affordable Health Care (WVAHC), a nonprofit, consumer-driven health advocacy organization, organized a WV State Medicaid Coalition in 2015. The purpose of the Coalition is to protect and improve Medicaid and assure that Medicaid and the Medicaid expansion have sustainable funding.
More than 165,000 West Virginians have gained coverage since January 2014 because of the Medicaid expansion. The West Virginians now covered by Medicaid include people who work in the service industries, hospitality, construction, and the arts. They are veterans and small business people, who have never been able to get insurance before.
Medicaid is an essential health and long-term care program that provides benefits for one in three West Virginians. It’s budget in 2017 will be $3.9 billion with $3 billion from the federal government and $900 million in state funding. The federal dollars also create jobs and stimulate the economy.
The Medicaid expansion, that began in January 2014, insures all West Virginians earning less than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. More than 170,000 West Virginians have signed up for Medicaid under the expansion. The first three years of the expansion (January 1, 2014 – December 31,2016) the federal government paid 100% of the cost. Starting on January 1, 2017, the state will have to start contributing a 5% match. The state match will grow to 10% by 20120.
Given the state’s declining revenues and current budget crisis, WVAHC and the Medicaid Coalition is working to educate health care leaders and elected officials on the need for a sustainable funding stream for Medicaid.
Download these helpful PDF’s to learn more about the impact of medicaid expiation in West Virginia.