UNMC report details what Medicaid expansion would mean in Nebraska

by Tom O’Connor, UNMC public relations | August 22, 2012

Expansion of Nebraska's Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would bring in at least $2.9 billion in revenue from the federal government by 2020, potentially finance more than 10,000 on-going jobs, and reduce charity care by $650 million from 2014-2019, a report released by a UNMC center indicates.

The report is based on a study by Jim Stimpson, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Policy and associate professor in the UNMC College of Public Health.

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The College of Public Health's Jim Stimpson, Ph.D., authored a paper that indicates what Medicaid expansion would mean in Nebraska.
"Medicaid expansion is an important decision for each state, and these results indicate that it would have a huge impact on Nebraska," Dr. Stimpson said.

State's option

On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ACA but ruled that the ACA provision expanding the Medicaid program for individuals from 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 133 percent of the FPL is optional for states.

For states that opt for Medicaid expansion, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion between 2014 and 2016, with that amount decreasing incrementally to 90 percent by 2020.

Benefits for Nebraska

For Nebraska, if Medicaid were expanded, it would bring in between 90,021 and 108,025 new enrollees through 2020, Dr. Stimpson's report indicated. The estimated cost of this expansion would range from $140 million to $168 million. The report did not calculate potential savings to the state government from expansion.

The report indicated that these additional costs would be significantly outweighed by an influx in federal funding, which would range from $2.9 billion to $3.5 billion through 2020. That funding would:

  • Generate at least $700 million in economic activity every year;
  • Potentially finance more than 10,000 on-going jobs; and
  • Save between $163 million and $325 million from costs associated with uncompensated care, which is typically provided now through the uninsured persons' visits to emergency rooms.

Potential opportunities

Without Medicaid expansion, Dr. Stimpson said more than $1 billion in uncompensated care would be provided through 2019. Often, the costs for such care are shifted to individuals and employers in the form of higher insurance premiums.

Read the full study online.

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