Legislators consider Medicaid expansion options
To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Wyoming lawmakers still have to determine whether they want to provide more health insurance to people who cannot afford it, and what such a plan would look like.
The legislature soundly defeated a proposal to expand the current Medicaid program, so the Wyoming Department of Health has pitched a new proposal where people could purchase a scaled-down version of Medicaid Insurance.
Department Director Tom Forslund said that users would have to participate like consumers who have private insurance.
“It would not be the same set of benefits under this plan that there is under the traditional Medicaid plan. Essentially you would have to cover the essential health benefit requirements of the ACA. And so it would be a scaled down version of the current Medicaid program with copayments and deductibles.”
Forslund said that this type of health insurance would help what he terms “the working poor”.
“They would have no coverage now other than going to the emergency room, so coming onto this plan it would be health insurance for these individuals, but again it would take some responsibility on their part to pay the co-pays and the deductibles.”
Some lawmakers are looking into a similar plan with private insurance providers, which would allow those in the system to not have to change plans in the future.
Governor Matt Mead says he will leave the final decision on whether to expand Medicaid up to the legislature.